I’m planning on retiring within the next year

With retirement just around the corner, it’s time to make your final preparations.  Use this time to finalize your decisions, stress test what you’ve built and work out the final details of your plan:

  • Take full inventory of your employer benefits.  Do you have unused PTO’s, sick or vacation days?  Your employer may offer COBRA or retiree healthcare while other group insurance such as life insurance or long-term care may be continued after retirement or converted to an individual policy.
  • Consider consolidating checking, saving and investment accounts to simplify recordkeeping and the management of your finances.
  • Review your insurance coverage.  Are you properly protected against the risks you’ll face in retirement?  Insurance you carried while employed such as life and disability may not be as necessary while coverage such as long-term care insurance may be worth investigating.
  • For many people, delaying social security benefits is a wise decision.  If you won’t be taking benefits immediately, be sure you have a tax efficient income strategy to bridge the gap.
  • If you’re not yet 65 health coverage may be available through your spouse’s employer or COBRA. Another option is the healthcare exchange, where subsidies may be available if your post retirement income is below certain thresholds.
  • If you are retiring after 65 you’ll be transitioning from private health insurance to Medicare.  Now is the time to decide if you will enroll in traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.  With traditional Medicare you will also need to select a Part D and Medicare Supplement plan that meets your needs.
  • This may be a good opportunity to review and update your estate plan to ensure it reflects your wishes.
  • Does your retirement budget work?  The only way to know for sure is to practice living off the budget you’ve created before making the transition.