Retirement Checklist: Are You Prepared?

Retirement Checklist: Are You Prepared?

February , 2011

By Ric Dalberri, Founder of Retirement USA

If so, it is imperative that you are prepared to make the
leap. Retirement can be a fun Are you looking to retire within the next two to
three years? and exciting time in your life, but only if you are fully prepared
for it. To make sure that you are, please continue reading on.

Before retiring from your job, make sure that you and your
spouse are properly covered by health insurance. Not taking this step can be
costly and it can have a negative impact on your retirement savings.

You do not want to create any lapses in coverage. If you do
not qualify for Medicare yet, be sure to examine other avenues of coverage. Can
you purchase affordable health insurance or can you extend your current health
insurance plan with COBRA?

Before retiring from your job, make sure that both you and
your spouse are covered with the right amount of life insurance. Do you have a
private life insurance policy? If not, now is the time to get one. Some
employers terminate an employee’s life insurance policy if it was provided and
paid for by the company. As your age increases, life insurance is a must, so
make sure that you are covered.

If you have been contributing to your company’s 401(k) plan
and an IRA, you need to decide when to start withdrawing this money, as well as
how you want to do so. Do you want to receive one large, lump sum payment? If
you are unsure, it may be best to first consult with a financial advisor. In
fact, when doing so, be sure to ask about all rules and restrictions. If you
withdrawal your money from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) before the
written guidelines, you may be charged a penalty.

Over the past few years, you likely developed a clear vision
of what your years in retirement would look like. Where do you want to live?
What type of property do you want to live in? What activities do you want to
enjoy? Do you want to start your own small business? Your retirement savings
are likely based on your retirement wants and needs. Now is the time to make
any last minute changes, as you still have a couple of years to save additional

Do you foresee yourself making a large purchase in the near
future? These purchases can include a new home or a car. If so, now is the time
to make them, especially if you will depend on financing from a professional
lender. Some lenders will give loans to those in retirement, but some are also
cautious of doing so, due to fixed income living. That is why you are
encouraged to make all large purchases before you enter into retirement.

The above mentioned points are just a few of the many that
you will want to examine and take action when needed. As a reminder, if you
plan to retire in two or three years, you still have time to save for
retirement. Contribute any amount that you can to your 401(k) or IRA. When it comes
to retiring, there is no such thing as having too much money.