Once you reach midlife, it’s time to start thinking hard about your plans for retirement. (It’s a good idea to be thinking about it long before that, too.) Maybe you’ve been saving for many years, but you still worry your nest egg isn’t quite big enough to sustain the lifestyle you’d like through your golden years. Of course, there’s more to being ready for retirement than your finances—you’ve got to get emotionally ready for retirement, too. In other words, if you’re in good shape financially, you might still be concerned that without a 9 to 5 to keep you busy, you’ll grow bored or feel that your life lacks purpose.
Everybody is different, and the steps you take to get ready for your years as a retiree might vary from what someone else will need to do. To help you get started, here’s a retirement checklist to help you assess how much more you need to do to get ready and to help you to start thinking about the possibilities—they are endless if you take the proper time to prepare yourself.
Decide where to live. Obviously, the cost of living varies drastically from one location to another. If you’re planning to live in an expensive city, like New York or San Francisco, your nest egg is going to need to be drastically larger than if you plan to live in a rural area.
Come up with a plan for how you’ll spend your time. Have you been dreaming of traveling to see the world? Are you going to take up a costly hobby? Do you just want to live a quiet life surrounded by family and friends? Making some plans now will help you determine how aggressive you need to be with our saving and investing plan.
Come up with a plan for staying active and happy. The beauty of retiring is that you can do whatever you want, but remember that most people feel most fulfilled and happy with their lives if they continue to set goals for themselves to work toward and feel as if they’re making a difference in their communities. This could mean you’ll continue to work part-time or as a consultant or it could simply mean to retire near your grandchildren or stay active in your community.
Determine where you’ll get your income. Unfortunately, when you’re retired, you’ll still have bills to pay. Will you be relying on your pension, 401k, or IRA? How much will you get from Social Security? If your expenses are larger than the income you can expect, it’s time to start thinking about how to increase your bottom line. Investing in real estate can be a great way to generate passive income. Now isn’t the time to gamble. Consider purchasing a turnkey rental property (or a few) for larger returns and less risk than other investments.
Get your health insurance in order. Most people plan to sign up for Medicare when they turn 65. However, if you’re planning to retire before that, you’ll need to buy your own health insurance
Sign up for Social Security (or decide when you will). You’ll be eligible to get payouts from Social Security benefits at age 62, but the longer you wait, the more you’ll receive.
Don’t sell yourself short. While you want to be realistic, don’t give up on your retirement dreams because of finances or other challenges. If you are a savvy planner and you stay the course it is possible to build the life you’ve always dreamed of during retirement.
Talk to one of our investment specialists to learn how JWB can help you earn passive income through long term real estate investing.