Are You Two Years from Retirement?
September 20, 2017
At this time, you should move into high gear in making your retirement preparations—both financial and lifestyle.
- Determine if you’ll be eligible for retiree medical and life insurance benefits. If you are planning to retire early, determine what your insurance plans, and Medicare, will and will not cover. You may have to bridge the retirement insurance gap by purchasing additional coverage.
- Complete a thorough inventory of all your assets. This includes your 401(k) plan, IRAs and other tax-deferred plans, personal savings, and investments. Don’t forget to include non-income-producing assets, such as your home, cars, rental or vacation property, jewelry, antiques, artwork, or miscellaneous items of value. It may be necessary to reposition your savings and investments.
- If you’re eligible for Social Security, audit your personal Social Security record. A Social Security Statement is sent annually to all individuals age 60 or over who are not yet receiving Social Security benefits. Review your Social Security Statement to determine the monthly benefit you can expect to receive. If you are under the age of 60, you can expect your statement every five years. If you have not received this statement, you can register for online access with the Social Security Administration and view your statement whenever you wish.
- Picture what your retirement will be like. If you are planning a second career, or you’re considering moving to a different location, start exploring your possibilities now.
- Plan to handle any shortfall in retirement income. This may mean turbo-charging your savings and investment strategy, selling a home, altering your lifestyle, or postponing retirement.
- Learn the different ways to access your pension and/or the account balance from your company savings plans. Re-investment considerations are important here.
- Be aware of the tax issues involved when taking distributions from your retirement plans.
- If you’re planning to sell your home, make sure you know what tax opportunities and pitfalls exist.
- Make estate planning a financial priority. Make sure you are taking advantage of tax planning strategies to minimize estate shrinkage and maximize transfer of assets to family members, heirs, or charitable organizations