Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pre-Retirement Checklist

As you approach retirement, there are various matters that you should take care of. Here are some of the items you should check:


Health Insurance. Are you among the lucky few who will continue to be covered after retirement? If not, you'll need to replace the coverage. If you will be eligible for Medicare, you may want to start checking up on "Medigap" coverage.


  • Tip: Before you retire, take care of any non-emergency medical, dental, or optical needs (if your employee plan coverage is broader than Medicare).


Other Types of Insurance. Once you retire, you may need to replace employer-provided life insurance by buying added life coverage. You should also consider purchasing long-term health care insurance to cover the risk that you'll need a lengthy nursing home stay in the future.


Social Security. Decide whether you want to take early Social Security benefits if you're retiring before your full retirement age. You can get 80% of your benefits at age 62.



  • Tip: For most people, taking Social Security benefits at their full retirement age makes the most financial sense. Be sure to discuss this with a financial advisor if you think you might need to take early benefits.

Company Plan Payout. It's important to plan well in advance how you'll take the payout from your pension plan or 401(k) plan. Will you transfer the funds to an IRA? How will the funds be invested?


Relocation. If you're planning on moving to another state, check out various states to see what the financial ramifications of living there will be.



  • Tip: If you'll be relocating, it might be a good idea to buy the new home before retirement.

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