Retirement is a significant event in life that can be both exciting and stressful. To alleviate some of the stress, it’s important to plan ahead.
Here are three essential things to prioritize before retirement:
Medicare should be a priority. Determine your plans for Medicare in advance, even if you intend to continue working past age 65. Research your health insurance options at least six months before turning 65 or if retiring early.
- Build a Social Security income bridge
Rather than filing for Social Security benefits immediately, consider creating an income bridge to cover the gap between retirement and filing. Explore strategies such as reverse mortgages, drawing down life insurance policies, or investing in annuities or bonds.
- Have a plan for your time
Retirement is a process, not just an event. It’s crucial to have a plan for how you will spend your time to avoid boredom, financial issues, and emotional challenges. Envision your retirement, consider your daily activities, and address any fears or concerns before retiring.
On the other hand, here are three things that can wait:
- Filing for Social Security
While you may be eager to receive your Social Security benefits, delaying filing can significantly improve your retirement prospects. Try to defer collecting Social Security for as long as possible to secure a larger benefit in your later years.
Consider delaying any major changes in residence immediately after retirement. Adjusting to retirement itself can be challenging, and adding the stress of moving can compound the difficulties. Give yourself time to adapt to the new normal before making a significant move.
Avoid excessive spending in the early years of retirement. Rampant spending can deplete your retirement savings, making it difficult to maintain the value of your portfolio. Take time to assess your spending habits, test out retirement life, and make informed purchasing decisions.
By prioritizing essential tasks and giving yourself time to adjust to retirement, you can better navigate this significant life transition.