Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are you Ready for Retirement?

So you want to retire…

But before you quit your job, sell your home and move to that island in the Caribbean, here’s a few things to think about. After all, it’s never too late to think about retirement.

1) Are you covered legally in retirement?

Legal documents….Do you have a will or a trust, durable powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, living wills. Are they up to date? Do you need to make some changes? If you don’t already have a good estate planning attorney, now is the time to find one.

2) Will you have enough finances for retirement living?

Finances… Do you have enough to last you throughout retirement? Or are you planning to go back to work if you run out of funds? Check with your financial advisor and make sure the plan you have really works for you. Not happy with your financial planner, find someone else. There are a million of these guys out there. It‘s important to trust your advisor. Do your homework.

3) What kind of insurance should you get for retirement?

Insurance, IRAs, annuities…revisit your choices of beneficiaries, Is this what you really want? If not, get new beneficiary designation forms and redo them. Remember the most current paperwork is the way it is when you pass on. And be careful with those annuities. They can be quite expensive.

4) Where do you want to spend your retirement?

Relocating, staying in the same place, or looking for a weekend retreat…Never has there been such a multitude of choices and at great prices. There are lots of bargains to be found. Just do your due diligence. Read the contracts or pay someone to read them for you. The time spent researching will pay for it in $$$$$$$. And remember…Location, location, location.

5) What kind of social security can you expect in retirement?

Social Security…age 62 or age 70? How do you decide? Make sure you know the difference in the income you can begin receiving as early as age 62. If you don’t need it, it’s probably best to wait a few years and get more later on.

6) What kind of health care will be available to you in retirement?

Health care…..Are you adequately insured?

Medicare will not cover all those nursing home bills. Better not count on that.

Long Term Care insurance…. This may or not be for you. You may have too many assets and it might be best for you to self- insure. Or LTC insurance may be the only way for you to pay for nursing home care without impoverishing your spouse. If you are considering this, know that you probably don’t need all the bells and whistles. Also check the ratings of the companies you are considering. All companies are not created equal. And finally, if making the premium payments means you have to do without something else that is important, don’t do it. See an Elder Law attorney and get a Medicaid plan done for you and your spouse.

Protect your financial future. Decide to enjoy the rest of your life. And don’t procrastinate, start planning for retirement now!

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