Tips for Retirement Planning

Last Updated on May 10, 2021 by Ellen Christian

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Now that my husband and I are getting closer to retirement, I’ve been researching the process. Check out these tips for retirement planning.

Retirement planning isn’t something that I paid much attention to when I was younger. Some of my jobs offered a variety of retirement planning options from 401K plans to pensions and some did not.

Now that my husband and I are getting closer to retirement, I've been researching the process. Check out these tips for retirement planning.

 

Tips for Retirement Planning

Retirement looks a lot different today than it has in the past. Whether you’re already set for your retirement or this is the first you’ve considered it, now is a perfect time to reevaluate.

Here are a few tips to consider when you’re making changes to your existing plans.

Not all retirements are planned

I’m sure you’ve heard stories about people who have been forced to retire before they were planning on it. Maybe you’ve even had a friend or relative in that situation. 

It may be a result of illness or a layoff, but it’s important that you be prepared for an unplanned retirement. Don’t put off planning because you think you have years ahead of you to deal with it.

a woman holding cash next to a calculator

Pay down your debt today

It’s easiest to pay down your debt while you’re still working at your full-time job. It’s very important that you eliminate as much debt as possible before you retire.

This includes debt like credit cards, student loans, and even your mortgage. It will be much more difficult to get rid of these payments once you’re on a fixed income.

Consider term life insurance

What will your family do if you’re no longer with them and you were the primary wage earner? Make sure that you a term life insurance policy in place just in case something happens to you unexpectedly.

You can call around and get term life insurance quotes to find out what option is best for you. There are a variety of different life insurance rates depending on your needs.

two people holding a pen and document to sign

Prepare for your health insurance needs

You can enroll for Medicare at age 65 so be sure that you sign up before your birthdate to give the coverage time to begin.

Make sure that you plan for things like co-pays, premiums, prescriptions, and unexpected medical expenses when you’re planning your retirement. One of the most important tips for retirement planning is to be prepared.

Remember that you cannot get Medicare until you are 65 so if you lose your health insurance before then, you will need to have another option.

Take advantage of your HSA

Now is the time to add more money to your health savings account (HSA). This is an ideal way to grow your savings tax-free until you need it. 

Contributions to an HSA are tax-deductible. And, they are tax-deferred. If you use them for qualified medical expenses, withdrawals are even tax-free. 

Now that my husband and I are getting closer to retirement, I've been researching the process. Check out these tips for retirement planning.

Evaluate your retirement income options

You can start collecting your Social Security benefits at 62 but you certainly don’t have to. And, did you know you can start taking 401K distributions without penalty at 59 1/2? Should you?

There are all sorts of questions that you may have about when you should draw on your income. And a lot really depends on your health, your finances, and your savings.

Speak to a professional to find out what they recommend rather than guessing or basing your choices on someone else’s decisions. 

a credit card machine and person holding a credit card

Change your spending habits now

Evaluate where you’re spending your money today and start scaling back when possible. You don’t want to underestimate what you need to retire on.

And, you want to be able to make adjustments in your retirement spending now while you have time to save more. 

You may want to check out a retirement savings calculator.

Retirement planning summary

So, to summarize these tips for retirement planning, make sure that you consider these things.

  • Unplanned retirement
  • Your current debts
  • Term life insurance
  • Health insurance 
  • Health savings account
  • Retirement income options
  • Spending habits

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