Retirement and budgeting/planning go hand-in-hand once the important decision to retire is made. After all, you’ve fulfilled your work obligations, and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. What are the essential things to pay attention to as you make the transition into retirement?
Healthcare heads the list. Unfortunately, most think signing up for Medicare is all you need to do. Nope! This is an important part of your ongoing life and one that needs critical attention. Meeting with a professional insurance consultant who is schooled in retirement options can give you peace of mind as you make these important, long-lasting decisions. You’ll need to provide information on your current physicians/specialists, what medications you take, and answer questions about your general health. As you think about which supplemental insurance is best for you, also consider what your retirement life will be like. Are you itching to put on your traveling shoes and see the country and beyond? You’ll need to be confident that your insurance provider travels with you, so you have coverage no matter where you are. On the other hand, if your idea of retirement is staying closer to home, there are options for that as well.
Budgeting never goes away, and it is just as important once you retire — maybe more so. No one wants to have too little money to get them through the month. Time spent revising your budget and paying down bills before retirement will serve you well. Be sure to plan for unexpected expenses and factor in savings as well. Ideally, you want money for your budget, money to grow (i.e., investment options), and money for the things you always wanted to do, including fun experiences and the “me time” you’ve earned!
Besides insurance and budgeting, you may be thinking of simplifying your life with a smaller house. Factoring those considerations into the budget is paramount. Does your current home need updates before it goes on the market? What will be your return on your investment? Will your house sell easily? Where do you want to move? Will a new home require any extra expenses you don’t currently have in your budget? All of these questions (and more) matter, especially if you’re leaving a home with decades of memories! Undoubtedly, the kids will have some opinions, and you’ll want to be financially prepared for all of your options.
Make plans for what’s next. The first day you don’t have to set the alarm and get up before daylight to get ready for work is a red-letter day. Do something just for you! Schedule a spa day, go fishing, visit a museum, take a walk through the woods — make it a special day to commemorate the fact that you’ve gotten to the date that seemed so far way: retirement. It’s not for just sitting on the porch, rocking away — it’s for doing things you enjoy, like volunteering, giving back, learning new hobbies, or doing whatever is on your wish list. Planning and budgeting ahead of time will make it more relaxing in the long run, and help alleviate the stresses that come with other big changes.