If you are considering retiring within the next five years, now is the time to create a retirement plan. Many seniors say they wish they had planned more carefully for retirement. There are several things you can do now to make sure your legal and financial affairs are in order when you retire.
Define Your Financial Goals
Naturally, one of the most important considerations in planning for retirement is safeguarding your financial security. That means defining what you expect your lifestyle to be during retirement, and how your financial goals will be met. You will want to consider factors such as how you will allocate money from your savings to supplement your retirement income, the possibility of rising health care expenses, and the effect that inflation may have on your purchasing power.
Your retirement plan will need to include a budget and an asset allocation strategy, and you will need to consider how to balance different sources of income and benefits, including Social Security, Medicare, and your own assets. If you are employed, one thing you can do to maximize your savings is to invest as much as you can in your 401(k) before you retire. Your employer can be a valuable source of information on how best to make use of your 401(k), and what benefits you will receive in retirement. If you are married, then you and your spouse should create a joint retirement plan.
Create an Estate Plan
If you do not already have an estate plan, now is the time to create one. Before retirement, you will want to be sure that you have taken the necessary steps to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, through the execution of a will, and the establishment of any trusts that would benefit you and your family. It is also important to establish a durable power of attorney, designating a person to make decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated. Through a living will, you can issue specific instructions for what is to be done in certain medical situations. An estate planning attorney can help you create a holistic plan for the management of your assets.
Retirement is something to look forward to, and something to plan for carefully.
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