What To Do 6 Months Before Retirement


Adjust Your Investment Portfolio

2 Shocking Truths discovered 6 months after retiring — This will happen to you too.

When you were 30 or 40, it was okay to take on more investment risk, because your horizon for using that money was many years away.

But once you get closer to retirement age, your investment risk tolerance should change to focus less on growth , and more on protection so you can use your investments for income soon.

That said, you still need to have some growth in your portfolio to keep up with inflation, especially if you intend to live to a ripe old age.

One rule of thumb says you should subtract your age from 100 and invest that amount in equities.

However, with Canadians living longer and needing to make their money last longer, the rule now says to subtract your age from 110 or even 120 and invest that amount in equities.

The good news is that many investment companies offer mutual funds that adjust your investments for you as you get older, based upon your risk tolerance.

Your age

Getting Ready To Retire: Print Our Checklist

We’ve developed a Retirement Checklist, available as a PDF you can review online or print out. It helps you organize your plans from 6 months prior to your desired retirement date, through your retirement, and includes information about continuing coverage after your retirement.

Migrate Your Personal Stuff From Work

For years, I used Microsoft for everything. I had tons of personal files on my work computer . I didnt want to pay for Microsoft in retirement, and I was happy with the Google toolbox . I spent ~12 months migrating my personal files from Microsoft on my laptop to my personal Google Drive, converting them from Microsoft to Google formats in the process. Every time I opened a personal spreadsheet or file on my laptop, I either migrated/converted it on the spot, or added it to my checklist of items I needed to migrate. It took some time, but it was manageable.

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Map Out Your Travel Plans

If your plan is to travel in retirement, then you should know that very often the earlier you book the cheaper it is. And if youre not busy anywhere, you can use these months to do research and stretch your travel dollars as far as you can by planning ahead. And if you want more tips on how to travel cheap in retirement, you can read my article: How To Retire And Travel Cheap: 20 Helpful Tips or get inspiration for your retirement road trip from my article: The 25 Best Road Trips For Retirees.

Understand Your Social Security Benefits

Countdown to Retirement  Four to Six Months Out

Photo via @tyjyounginc

To support yourself, your average retirement income will need to be about 70% of your current income. For most people, this income is earned from accrued savings and Social Security payments. Social Security payments are determined by your 35 highest earning years, but you cant start receiving these benefits until age 62. If you delay receiving Social Security until age 67, however, you can receive 8% more in benefits up to age 70. To get an idea of where you stand with these benefits, sign up for a free Social Security report.

Photo via @myfuturelivinguk

Do you know your personal net worth? While preparing for retirement, make a list of all assets, including cash, real estate, vehicles, personal property, bonds, stocks, and investments. Keeping track of your capital will help you plan around your income sources during retirement. But dont stop there! Create another list with all liabilities, such as mortgages, auto loans, student loans, personal loans, and credit card debt. Paying off debt is one of the most important steps before retirement because your savings and retirement income will last much longer if you dont have to make monthly payments toward your debt.

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Submit Forms To Payroll Services

  • Submit your Notice of Final Deposit Before Retirement form directly to Payroll Services no more than 30 days prior to your retirement date.
  • If you are using sick leave to purchase another year of TRS service credit, you should also submit your Certification of Unused State Sick Leave directly to Payroll Services.

Establish And Migrate To A Personal Calendar

I had always used my work calendar to track all of lifes activities. This calendar lived on the Microsoft exchange on our company servers and was automatically synced to my work cell phone. I would no longer have access to either of these tools after my retirement and had to develop a personal calendar.

I decided on Google Calendar and began putting all personal items on Google calendar to get familiar with it. I also entered anything which was scheduled for after my retirement date on the Google calendar, and continue to use it to this day. No calendar entries were lost in my transition into retirement, but it took a plan and implementation well before my retirement date to ensure nothing was lost.7.

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A You Can Continue Working And Start Receiving Your Retirement Benefits

If you start your benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age.

You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time before your full retirement age. However your benefits will be reduced if you earn more than the yearly earnings limits.

After you reach your full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to give you credit for any months you did not receive a benefit because of your earnings. We will send you a letter that explains any increase in your benefit amount.

If you delay filing for your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit. If you also continue to work, you will be able to receive your full retirement benefits and any increase resulting from your additional earnings when we recalculate your benefits. Once you reach full retirement age, your earnings do not affect your benefit amount.

If you start receiving retirement benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65. If you or your spouse are still working and covered under an employer-provided group health plan, talk to the personnel office before signing up for Medicare Part B. To learn more, read our Medicare publication.

Buy Your Retirement Toys

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As you think about retirement, think about the toys youll need to live the retirement youre dreaming of. In our case, it was a 5th wheel and a truck to pull it with. Ive heard from others who have gone before me that its difficult to make these larger acquisitions after you retire and that paycheck stops, so build them into your plan for the year prior to retirement.

We built a spreadsheet to help us achieve our Starting Cash Level for Day 1 of retirement. In the year leading up to retirement, we listed all of the projected inflows and outflows to keep ourselves on track to achieve the Day 1 cash level without overspending.

We hit our targeted Day 1 level, and we secured our retirement toys without anxiety. Now that were retired, we have peace of mind that weve positioned our retirement to be the best that it can be, without overspending on the toys well be using in retirement.

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You Have Ample Savings

You planned and set a goal for retirement savings. Now your investments meet or exceed the amount you were hoping to save. This is another good sign you could take early retirement.

If you didn’t plan for early retirement, you will need to recalculate how long your savings will last. Also, depending on your age, you may not yet be eligible for Social Security or Medicare. Your savings will need to cover your expenses until you reach the eligible age.

Keep in mind that if you do leave work several years before you planned to, your savings must be enough to cover these additional retirement years.

“Think ‘Rule 25.’ Prepare to have 25 times the value of your annual expenses,” says Max Osbon, partner at Osbon Capital Management, in Boston. “Why 25? It’s the inverse of 4%. At that point, you only need to achieve a 4% return per year to cover your annual expenses in perpetuity.”

After Your Retirement Date

Youll receive your first pension payment on the 21st day of the month following the month that you retire, and each month after that. If this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, itll be paid on the working day before.

Youll then receive a letter from us each year outlining your pension increase in line with inflation. Look out for In Touch too, our annual newsletter for retired members, to keep up to date on the latest USS news and other useful articles.

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Questions To Answer Before Retiring

Do you plan on retiring soon? If so, you will need to have a plan for how you will make the most of your retirement years.

Retirement planning isnt as simple as saving a little bit each month and calling it good. There are a lot of steps that go into planning for your retirement.

Here is a helpful list of 25 things to consider before you decide to retire:

  • Review your retirement plan. If you are just starting to plan your retirement and want help doing so, consider consulting with a certified financial planner and pension expert.
  • Review your pension plan. If you have an employer-sponsored pension , be sure to make sure you understand how the pension works. Contact a pension expert to review a pension estimate from your employer and explain the commuted value and potential tax benefits and regulations that may apply to you.
  • Determine how much money you need and what your monthly expenses will be in retirement. For example, if you are currently paying $1,000 a month for housing, what will that expense be in retirement? Do you have any debts such as credit cards or car loans? These questions will need to be answered so that you can accurately determine how much money you will need in order to maintain your current lifestyle once you stop working. Work with a financial professional to create a financial plan that allows for a steady retirement income so you can continue paying your bills while having some extra cash to enjoy and spend on non-essentials.
  • Save For Those Things On Your Bucket List Youre Planning And Would Love To Do During Retirement

    Retirement planning: What you need to know

    Here is one of the most important things that you should do before retirement. Once you have created a list of all the things that you would love to do, it is important to estimate the expenses that will be involved.

    The estimation is fundamental to ensure that you donât fall short of the money required to fulfill your dreams later in life.

    After estimating the expenses that will be involved, you should try to make suitable savings for after retirement merriment. For savings, youll want to create a separate savings account.

    You may also use your retirement savings account for this purpose, but it is usually better to keep things separate. Retirement merriment and bucket list expenses are different from other retirement expenses but you really want to enjoy the dream and prepare well.

    Plan for your long-term life care:

    According to the American Association of long-term care, around 7.5 million Americans had some form of long-term care requirement by January 2020. Our body is meant to age and wha-la it does.

    As we age, we may become susceptible to various kinds of health problems, making it crucial to plan for long-term life care before retirement.

    If you plan well, you can make your long-term healthcare expenses without getting stressed over them. Moreover, a good long-term life care plan will ensure that your family doesnât get burdened by your health expenses.

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    What Do You Call A Person Who Is Happy On Monday Retired

    Life after retirement is the life you have planned for saved for and now, you can actually enjoy living this crafted life.

    Once you retire, you donât have to spend your days rushing to complete work in time and receive your paycheck at the end of the month. Instead, youâll have plenty of time to accomplish the many goals you have set for yourself and saved for all these years.

    You already know the world we live in You already know that many, many enjoyments come with a cost and that cost is usually money.

    If you donât have a sufficient amount of money, financial stress will hover like dark clouds at this time you have prepared for and looked forward to with joy.

    Start now save enough money for your retirement, complete all other responsibilities well and work on creating the best retirement life for yourself.

    Wishing you All the Best, and your best life yet in your retirement years.

    Map Out Your Travel Plans Early

    Photo via @vacation_envy_travel

    One of the best things about being retired is the ability to travel. Stretch your travel dollars as far as you can by planning ahead! Extended stay hotels are a great option for low-cost housing and making your vacation money last longer. You can also plan lengthier vacations with Airbnb or VRBO, which are often more affordable and flexible than traditional hotels. Whether you want to take an affordable beach vacation or explore the country by RV, be sure to include vacation planning in your retirement checklist!

    Photo via @harakohei

    Some people get a few years into retirement and realize they need more income to support their living costs. Others find that they miss the routine and socialization aspects of the workplace. A part-time job in retirement is an excellent way to keep cash flowing and stay socially active. Substitute teaching, working in retail, assisting with administrative work, and providing child care are all common part-time job options where retirees can find engaging work with flexible schedules.

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    C You Can Continue Working And Not Receive Your Retirement Benefits

    If you decide to continue working and not start your benefits until after full retirement age, your benefits will increase for each month you do not receive them until you reach age 70. There is no incentive to delay filing for your benefits after age 70. Continuing to work may also increase your benefits, because your current earnings could replace an earlier year of lower or no earnings, which can result in a higher benefit amount.

    If you are not receiving your Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will need to apply for Original Medicare three months before you turn 65. If you dont sign up for Medicare Part B when youre first eligible at age 65, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare coverage.

    However, if you or your spouse are still working and covered under an employer-provided group health plan, talk to your personnel office before signing up for Medicare Part B. Once the covered employment ends, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part B. If so, you wont have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

    Work On A Smooth Transition

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    Its best for everyone involved that your transition into retirement goes as smoothly as possible. And you can do your part by focussing on hiring your replacement, writing a handbook for your replacement with for example future deadlines, where to find files, passwords, and information on clients and projects. A very valuable piece of work that will be very much appreciated.

    And knowing youve done everything you can to finish your job in the best way possible will give you a boost in satisfaction and self-esteem. What better way to start your retirement?

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    Get A Head Start On New Hobbies

    Photo via @tengiainc

    Staying active in retirement not only means exercising and eating well, but it also applies to mental health. Retirees can be at a higher risk for depression if they lose their sense of purpose and community. Even though you may dream of not having to work every day, youll still want to stay busy throughout retirement. Explore some new interests or sign up for travel groups, book clubs, and cooking classes. You can also stay active in your social circles by joining a senior center or volunteering with an organization.

    Are you downsizing or moving as you prepare for retirement? Extra Space Storage can help! We have easily accessible storage facilities across the nation. Find a storage unit near you!

    Review Your Retiree Insurance Options


    Group Term Life Conversion

    • Conversion allows retirees and their covered dependents to convert the excess Basic and/or Voluntary Life Insurance they had as employees to an individual whole life policy if any portion of their Life insurance terminates by remitting premium directly to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas .
    • For more information, contact Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas at 1-866-628-2606.

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