Retirement Planning Checklist

The Complete and Only Retirement Planning Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Are you ready to start planning for an exciting, new phase of life?

Then you’re in the right place. By creating a retirement planning checklist, you’ll have the ultimate guide to help you plan your future with ease. 

Not sure what steps you need to take? No worries. We’ll walk you through every step of the process, from calculating your desired monthly income to eliminating all debt. It’s time to eliminate guesswork so you can finally start planning for your future.

Read on to learn how to enjoy peace of mind during and years of financial prosperity.

Calculate Your Desired Monthly Income

First, calculate your desired monthly income. If you’re not sure how much money you’ll need during retirement, consider using a good retirement calculator that will help you easily project the amount of income required to retire on.

Be sure to factor in inflation and other variables when creating your list of must-haves. Remember, there’s more than one type of inflation to take into account.

Be willing to think big when you think about the lifestyle you’ll want to lead in retirement. Will you want to travel? Will you need to maintain a certain standard of living? What about debt payments?

Add everything up, and be sure you have a handle on your desired monthly income from all angles. Next, consider any significant lifestyle changes that will change your income.

For instance, are you planning on moving into a smaller or larger home? Are you planning on having more or fewer children? You should even budget for any pets you’ll want to welcome into your family.

You’ll need to take these significant life changes into account when crafting your retirement plan. By planning, you can easily create the perfect budget for your future household.

Life Expectancy Calculator

To predict your financial needs in retirement, you can try using a life expectancy calculator. This will help you determine an estimated number of years that you’ll be able to enjoy your retirement nest egg.  

This is an excellent way to assess how much money you might need before retiring. If you’re aiming for $1 million, but want to live off $50K per year, then it’s likely you’ll run out of money. You can use the calculator to determine how long your savings might last you in retirement, allowing you to plan accordingly.

Determine Your Retirement Age

Once you have an idea of your desired monthly income, you can begin to determine when it would be best for you to retire. If the amount of money you’ll need each month seems unattainable, consider retiring at a later age. This will give you some extra time to save up for what you need!

Waiting to retire can also give you extra time to plan for life after work. If you’re newly retired, it’s a good idea to enroll in classes or seminars through your local community center. That way, you can learn how to handle retirement finances and resources best.

Where Is Your Ideal Retirement Destination?

Where does your next chapter begin? 

Now that you know how much money you’ll need to retire, it’s time to plan for where you might like to spend your golden years. Consider how important location is when planning for a sound retirement nest egg.

Are the sun and surf more enticing than skiing and snow? Are you hoping to travel or stay put?

If you’d like to spend your retirement abroad, consider the U.S. dollar’s exchange rate compared to other currencies. For instance, retirees who plan to spend their time in Mexico will need more money than those willing to settle for a US-based lifestyle.  

Take into account the cost of living as well as your ideal location. It would help if you ever considered your retirement preferences when planning for a desired monthly income.

Don’t be afraid to dream big! Consider everything from where you’d like to live and how far away to what form of housing you might prefer and more.

Apply for Social Security Benefits

Next, you’ll need to start creating a financial plan. You can begin by finding out the right time for you to apply for your Social Security benefits. Timing is everything when it comes to receiving a more extensive Social Security check.

If you apply early, you’ll lose some of your benefits. If you wait until after reaching full retirement age, the reduction will be more minor, but you’ll have to wait longer for your first check.

If you wait until after the full retirement age to apply, your benefits will increase instead of decrease. Are you afraid of calculating social security payments? Don’t be!

You don’t have to do the math yourself. You can easily use a calculator, or Social Security’s claiming age calculator to determine when you should file for your benefits.

Remember, your decision to file for Social Security benefits will affect the amount of money you’ll receive in retirement. It’s essential to plan when it comes to timing your application.

Create a Retirement Savings

Next, it’s time to start growing retirement savings. How much should you save each week?

It’s easy to use an average of your last few paychecks as a means to determine how much you should be saving. As a general rule of thumb, experts recommend saving at least 10% of your annual income each year.

If you’re looking for ways to get started with your retirement savings plan, consider opening up a 401(k) or IRA account. This will help you begin building up your nest egg over time. 

How much should you be contributing to these accounts? You can start by saving at least 15% of your annual income. If you’re self-employed, consider opening up a Simplified Employee Pension IRA (SEP-IRA) account.

Don’t forget to consider expected inflation when determining how much money you should be socking away each month. It would help if you also felt the benefits of maximizing your employer’s 401(k) match.

When to Hire a Retirement Lawyer

Moving on, let’s talk about when to hire a lawyer. Now that you have a better idea of where you’d like to retire and how much money you’ll need to get by, it’s time to seek financial guidance from a retirement lawyer.

A retirement lawyer can help you navigate any legal issues that may come up during your golden years. If you’re interested in hiring retirement or ss attorneys, look for a lawyer with a background in estate planning and eldercare.

It would help if you also considered someone familiar with the tax laws involving retirement accounts. This can be especially beneficial if you plan on passing assets down to heirs upon your death.  

If you’re interested in finding out more about legal issues related to retirement, contact your state’s bar association. You can also search online for attorneys who specialize in retirement law.

On average, many attorneys will charge a flat rate for projects that take hours rather than days to complete. These types of lawyers offer what is known as “retainer service.” 

You can expect these services to include things like the creation of living wills and healthcare proxies. You can also get help with things like nursing home contracts and revocable living trusts.

Consider Working Part-Time After Retirement

You don’t have to retire completely! Work part-time if you feel so inclined. Just make sure this is a choice and not a burden that you place on yourself.

The extra years spent working can help build up your nest egg while also creating a sense of fulfillment. A few years of part-time work can also help you avoid becoming bored as you settle into a new phase of life.

You’ll be able to keep your social skills sharp, and part-time jobs give you something to do during the day. Plus, some jobs are specifically for retirees. For instance, you can find plenty of opportunities to work part-time at retirement communities.

Eliminate All Debt

Another financial step of retirement planning is eliminating your debt. Ideally, you’ll do this before you retire. 

The first place to start is with credit cards. If you have several cards, make it a habit to pay off the highest interest rate card each month until they are all paid off.

If you need help getting started, consider asking for advice from family or friends who also manage their finances. You can also seek out advice online or by calling to speak to someone at your bank about strategies to make extra payments on your cards.

It would help if you also considered paying off any other outstanding debts, including auto loans and home equity lines of credit. Make it a priority to eliminate high-interest debt first since this will help you save the most money over time.

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Make Retirement Planning Easy

Now you can create a checklist to make retirement planning simple and stress-free. Ensure that your retirement to-do list includes things like creating an emergency fund, and getting rid of debt. You’ll also need to look into maximizing your employer’s 401(k), seeking out retirement lawyers, and working part-time if desired.

By creating a plan, you’ll be able to get more excited about your future than ever before! Retirement is a fantastic phase of life, as long as you plan for it. Start writing out your plan now! For more advice, read another article.