Retirement Plan Checklist
It is never too early, nor too late, to start your retirement plan. However, most people don’t know exactly what goes into a retirement plan, let alone how much money they will need for retirement. Creating a retirement plan is something everyone needs to do to be prepared for the unexpected. At The Gardens of Boca Raton, our funeral specialists are experts on retirement plans and believe these should be broken down into four pillars of retirement:
Following this road map, we have created a complete retirement plan checklist to make sure you have everything you need for retirement. By checking off every box on this checklist, you are not only making sure your retirement years are spent without the burden of dealing with many of these items, but also that your family members and loved ones are not left with the burden of making many of these decisions for you.
1. Estimate Retirement Needs
The first thing on the agenda is your retirement needs. First of all, you need to choose a target retirement date, regardless of your age, income, or employment situation. Once you have this date, you can start planning in reverse from this potential date. Based on your expected retirement age or date, the following items on this checklist will help you be prepared.
[ ] Budget for Retirement Expenses
When you are trying to draft a retirement budget, you need to know the life you would like to live while retired. Will you keep a part-time job? Are you planning on investing in a hobby or traveling? This is the right time to talk to your spouse or partner about your retirement plans. Once you have that, you can start drafting a budget for your retirement. The majority of people spend about 85% of their budget in retirement.
If you are unsure how to draft a budget, consider consulting with an expert. A financial adviser can come in handy to manage your retirement budget.
[ ] Retirement Health Care Costs
Expect to be responsible for the full cost of your health insurance coverage during retirement. All of your out-of-pocket expenses should be part of your retirement budget. As you are looking at your retirement plan checklist, make sure you include another list to look at your health care needs and requirements to ensure you have the proper coverage throughout your retirement.
2. Estimate Investment Needs
The second pillar of retirement talks about the investments you might be able to make throughout your retirement years. Many people decide to invest their money in the stock market or through other investment opportunities at this stage to continue having some revenue. Again, speaking with a financial advisor or retirement planner can help you make sure you are making the correct decisions.
[ ] Estimate Social Security Benefits
Another essential part of your budget and retirement estimates involves your social security benefits. Make sure to visit the Social Security office or website to see how much you will be eligible to receive, how to activate your payments, and anything else you need to unlock all of your Social Security benefits.
[ ] Analyze Investments and Other Income Sources
Also, you want to identify and analyze any other sources of income. Other sources of retirement income can be a traditional IRA account, your Roth IRA, retirement plans by previous employers, spouse’s retirement assets, pensions, rental income, part-time work, stock investments, retirement accounts, and others. Make sure to simplify these investments in the best way possible to make them conveniently accessible and manageable.
3. Estate Planning for Retirement
While most people believe estate planning is just writing a will, the truth is that it involves much more than that. Estate planning is also one of the most critical parts of your retirement plan checklist, and it is the one thing that will make sure all your retirement plan items are respected and executed.
[ ] Will & Trusts
It would help if you drafted your will and trusts to make sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Here you also need to think about beneficiary designations and guardianship designations, which are particularly helpful if you have minor children. Having a comprehensive estate plan establishes the guidelines to follow in case of your death.
[ ] Power of Attorneys
In addition to the will and trust, you have to establish some power of attorney. By choosing either a person or an agency that will be able to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself, you can make sure your wishes are respected in the case you are found to be mentally incompetent by a court or if you are deceased. Another important role here is the healthcare power of attorney, which is the person in charge of making healthcare decisions on your behalf, in case you ever become incapable of doing so.
4. Consolidate End-of-Life Wishes
Lastly, most people forget to think about their end-of-life wishes when drafting their retirement plan. Even though over 60 percent of people think it is important to discuss their end-of-life wishes with their friends and family members, only 21 percent of them do. While we understand this is an emotionally challenging topic for most families, it is by far the most important one when it comes to retirement plans.
[ ] Funeral Arrangements
Part of your end-of-life wishes includes what you would like your funeral arrangements to be like. Pre-planning funeral arrangements helps your friends and family members avoid the emotional burden of having to make these decisions themselves. However, pre-planning your funeral arrangements today helps you save money in the future as you can lock in today’s lower prices. The benefits of planning your funeral arrangements by far outweigh the stress, challenges, and burdens of leaving them to your family in the future.
[ ] Burial Arrangements
Another thing people forget to mention to their family members is their burial arrangement wishes. Would you prefer to be buried, cremated, or have your ashes scattered? Making these decisions today, and making sure you consolidate them into your retirement plan, are essential to make sure your family is not left alone making these decisions, and that your final wishes are respected.
How to Start?
Hopefully, this retirement checklist has made you start thinking about your retirement plan. If you are ready to go over some of these items, we are available to discuss your wishes and concerns. Call 561-989-9190 today and schedule a consultation with our funeral director to go over your retirement plan, your final wishes, and more, we are ready to assist you every step of the way.