Your Retirement Planning Checklist
Planning ahead doesn’t always ensure that you’ll avoid every pitfall along the way, but it can help to increase the odds. Planning for retirement should start long before those final few years of employment. Use this list over the long-term to help guide your decision-making process and possibly avoid a few mistakes along your way to retirement.
- Think about where you’ll live – Many retirees remain in the same home or same community after retirement. Considering downsizing or moving to a less expensive community may help your retirement assets last longer.
- Think about what you want to do in retirement - Having an image of specific plans (rather than just not working) is a great motivator in maximizing your savings.
- Increase your paycheck contributions – Plan ahead for inflation. When planning for retirement, it may be safe to assume that prices will rise. After all, the United States has experienced inflation every year, except two, since 1955.1 Anticipate spending more than you think you would.
- Focus on your health – Just like inflation, medical care costs may be significant part of your retirement planning. If you focus on your physical health and increase your contributions now, managing medical expenses in the future may be a little easier.
- Pay down your debt – Paying off credit card debt before retirement is crucial. If you have cash left over after paying off other debts, paying down your mortgage may reduce financial stress and might help you sleep better at night.
- Reduce your risk – Talk with a Team MSRP Retirement Specialist about options you might have for reducing your exposure to market risk and to learn more about strategies like asset allocation.
- Find out about all sources of income you can expect – Contact SRA and former employers to find out if you are entitled to any pensions, and if so, how much you can expect to receive. Also, use the Social Security Administration’s Online Retirement Estimator to see how much you may receive in Social Security benefits.
- Consider working longer – One potential way to help prepare for retirement is to work a few additional years. Working even a few additional years may help your investments potentially benefit from time and compounding, additional contributions and delaying withdrawals.
- Try the Interactive Retirement Planning Tool – See how these changes interact with each other to bring you closer to your retirement goals.
- Work with a professional – Continuing to work with a Retirement Specialist as retirement approaches may help you stay on-track for fiscally fit years in retirement.
Get the help you need
Talk with a Team MSRP Retirement Specialist if you have questions, and to get started planning for your future.
1Historical Inflation, Inflationdata.com (accessed 10/3/11)