Expert Says You Can Retire When You’ve Completed 20 Steps That Will Prepare You

May 11th, 2021

Before retirement, people have to consider the many ways it will impact life as we know it. Along with this, you have to prepare yourself in many ways. Fritz, a retirement expert at The Retirement Manifesto, recently retired, and he shares his insights on what steps you need to take.

1. Communicate with your spouse.

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flickr - Thomas Long Source: flickr - Thomas Long

Retirement effects everyone, not just you. Your change in occupation could impact your partner’s lifestyle too, so it’s important to treat this as a change to your whole team, and speak to them beforehand about your plans and intentions, and listen to their thoughts.

2. Update your health insurance.

Once you retire, you will quickly lose access to your companies health insurance plan. Before this happens, it’s important to figure out an alternative health care system that works for your. Consider looking into Medicare, or see if your company has a COBRA plan.

3. Think about if your housing needs an adjustment.

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Pexels - Matthis Volquardsen Source: Pexels - Matthis Volquardsen

A lot of working people’s living situations are linked to proximity to their jobs. When you retire, the commute becomes an unnecessary worry. Think about if you want to move somewhere else, or if you want some renovations on your house, and how these choices will impact your finances.

4. Vision board.

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Unsplash - Element5 Digital Source: Unsplash - Element5 Digital

Retirement requires a bit of soul searching as your life drastically changes. It’s helpful to begin the retirement phase of your life with a solid idea of what your dream retirement looks like, so you can make that a reality.

5. Make choices about your pension.

A pension is a helpful piece of money that will help you out a lot during retirement. That being said, you should begin now to detail your pension, because it can take a many months to understand the implication of each choice you make.

6. Make a budget.

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flickr - 401(K) 2012 Source: flickr - 401(K) 2012

You’ll have to be financially prepared for your retirement. It’s good to be on top of exactly how much expenses will cost you and what you can afford to live on.

7. Plan for your retirement taxes now.

You’ll need to do some homework on the various accounts that hold your retirement funds. Each different account likely has different tax requirements, and you will need to be aware and prepared for these, in order to make the most of your available funds.

8. Claim your Social Security at the optimal time.

Do some research on Social Security in order to know when exactly is the perfect time for you to claim, in order to maximize your payout. This is important because according to Barber Financial Group:

“nearly 96% of American’s are claiming their Social Security at a sub-optimal time, collectively leaving $3.4 trillion on the table. That’s $111,000 per household of lost retirement income due to claiming at the wrong time.”

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flickr - 401 (K) 2012 Source: flickr - 401 (K) 2012

9. Start planning your estate.

Everyone has an estate, and thoroughly detailing yours can help your loved ones out a lot once you are gone.

10. Pay off your debts.

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Unsplash - Chronis Yan Source: Unsplash - Chronis Yan

Once you retire, you won’t have as much free flowing income. You should be debt-free by the time you retire in order to make your budget and lifestyle more manageable during that time.

11. Make your big purchases now.

This relates to the above point: you won’t have a whole bunch of expendable income when you retire. Any big purchases you are thinking of, a new house, a bigger car, it is easier to buy them now when you have still have a job, rather than waiting until retirement.

12. Start talking to people at work.

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Pexels - Seven 7 Source: Pexels - Seven 7

You should be as transparent as you can during this transition. If you’ve worked at the same company for a while, your work relies on you, and you don’t want to leave your boss in the lurch looking for someone who can fill your shoes.

13. Move your personal files away from the work computer.

Once you retire, you will no longer have access to your work computer. Anything you hold dear to you on that computer, family photos or kind emails, should be moved to your personal possession so you can access them after you retire.

14. Get a non-work phone.

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flick - Carissa Rogers Source: flick - Carissa Rogers

Again, you’ll lose your work technology once you retire. You should become familiar with new technology so that you can still be part of the internet age in retirement.

15. Get a new address book.

There’s so many people you’ll want to stay in contact with post-retirement! Because most of your contacts are likely kept in a work-based address book, you should change that over to a personal phone book so that you don’t lose any connections.

16. You’ll need a personal calendar, too.

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flickr - Duc Ly Source: flickr - Duc Ly

If much of your daily life has been planned out by a company Google Calendar, or something like that, you should begin to create your own system to tracking your future plans. Do this long before you retire so that you don’t lose or forget about any future events.

17. Begin to say goodbye.

In your working years, you have probably become close with all sorts of people. You should not leave your professional life without saying goodbye to anyone important to you, and with some reflection, you might realize exactly how many people have been important to you.

18. What are your hobbies?

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flickr - Eliza Source: flickr - Eliza

This is the fun part of retirement planning. Now that you’re not working, you have so much free time to explore your passions. Start thinking ahead of how you want to spend your time, and begin to look into some fun classes you might take. This will ensure that you have a fulfilling retirement.

19. Countdown!

Maybe it helps you to have a countdown clock for all your major life events. Retirement is no different. By counting down the days until you retire, you’ll be able to lean into your own excitement.

20. This is a new phase in your life, enjoy it.

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flickr - barnimages.com Source: flickr - barnimages.com

Retirement is a big change in your life, if you embrace all the changes to yourself and your life, as well as plan ahead thoroughly, you will truly love retirement.

To learn more, read this article by the expert himself.

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Source: Barber Financial Group, U.S. Department of Labor, The Retirement Manifesto