Many people have bucket lists of things they want to do before they die. However, it’s just as important to make sure that you have some things sorted out before you retire, as well. While everyone has different ideas of what their retirement will look like, here are 10 things you should put on your retirement bucket list and accomplish before you retire.
Get out of debt
When you retire, you will likely be on a fixed income. This might come from your pension, retirement funds, Social Security, or a mix of the three. When you are on a fixed income, you do not want debt or any other money wasters eating away at the money you are expected to live on.
To avoid debt taking up your fixed income, you should work to get out of debt before you retire. You can work to eliminate your monthly debt payments including credit card payments, auto or student loans, and your mortgage. While it might be difficult to double down on your debt, it will help you to become more financially secure in your golden years.
Review and update your estate plan
As you near retirement, take the time to review your estate plan. Your lifestyle will likely change quite a bit in retirement. Therefore, it’s wise to review your end of life planning. You should have a will, a power of attorney, and medical directives laid out.
It’s especially important to ensure that your will not only provides financially for your loved ones after you die, but also that it’s legally binding. Take the time to work with an estate attorney or other professional to ensure that your will and other directives meet your state’s legal requirements and guidelines. You should also take the time to make any updates to your asset allocation between your beneficiaries.
Freshen up on your Social Security knowledge
There are a lot of false rumors about Social Security, so it’s important to take the time to brush up on what you know about it. Additionally, you should take the time to understand what Social Security benefits you’re eligible for.
For example, you may already know that you are eligible to start receiving Social Security at age 62. However, you might not realize that there are benefits to delaying the age you begin collecting payments. Taking the time to learn about Social Security and decide when it’s best to start collecting can pay off in the long run.
Crunch your retirement numbers
Before you retire, you should take the time to understand how much you’ll need in retirement and how your accounts will provide income. Common sources of retirement income include Social Security, a pension, your employer’s 401(k), other retirement accounts, passive income sources, and more. Some people choose to work part-time in retirement, as well.
You may want to consult with a financial planner to help you plan how much you’ll need, how much you currently have saved, and how to fill in any gaps. You will also want to take the time to estimate your expenses in retirement to confirm you have the income to cover them.
Take stock of your life insurance policies
As you approach retirement, make sure that your life insurance policies will cover you and your family after you leave the workforce. It’s important to be properly insured so that your family is taken care of if you die prematurely, especially if they are still dependent on your income.
If your life insurance is through your employer, there’s a good chance that it will no longer be in effect after you retire. You may be able to continue your coverage through your pension plan, but it is important to understand what your coverage is. If your life insurance coverage is outside of your employer, make sure that you have enough coverage based on your needs as a retiree.
Create a plan for long-term care
As of January 2020, 7.5 million Americans have some form of long-term care, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care. And, on average, a person spends three years in long-term care. While expenses vary widely, long-term care can easily cost thousands of dollars per week.
With this in mind, you never know for sure if you will need care or not. Therefore, it’s important to have a plan for how you and your family will handle long-term care should you need it. You may want to purchase long-term care insurance and evaluate what kind of facility you would like to be in, should the need arise.
Select a hobby you love
One of the most important things to check off on your retirement bucket list is finding a hobby you love. Your mental health will be just as important in retirement, if not more than it is now. Many people spend 40 or more hours per week working, then they are left wondering what to do when they retire. Some people end up feeling like they lack a purpose after retirement. You can mitigate this restlessness by having a hobby that you look forward to spending time on.
Build a strong circle of friends
While it is important to have your interests, it is also wise to surround yourself with like-minded people. You will have more free time in retirement, so be sure that you have friends that you enjoy spending time around.
Many people choose to move closer to their friends in retirement. There are plenty of 55+ communities around the country that are designed for people to live close to each other. Many of these communities have rec centers and have staff on hand to plan activities for locals. Even if you don’t move to a specific community, be sure to surround yourself with people that you enjoy.
Map out your travel plans
You’ve worked hard your entire life for retirement, so be sure to plan how you will enjoy it. It is important to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Whether you want to travel around the U.S. in an RV or take a few weeks or months abroad, be sure to have a plan so that your travel goals don’t fall by the wayside. You may want to evaluate how much your travels will cost, who you want to travel with, and what you’d like to do while traveling.
Determine what’s on your retirement bucket list
You may have lists of things that you’ve always wanted to do. For example, if you’ve always wanted to fix up a hot rod or spend more time at the lake, be sure to write it down. You should take the time to decide what you’ve wanted to do, as well as when and how you’ll do it. This way, you can plan your time and budget accordingly.
The bottom line
So that you can best enjoy retirement, it is wise to have a plan. You should look at your finances as well as your goals to help you create a retirement plan that you are excited about.
Whether you are decades away from retirement or your retirement date is quickly approaching, you can get started on your retirement bucket list. If you’re unsure of what to do next, try speaking with a retirement planner that can help you make the right moves. Our team is ready to assist you with any retirement questions you may have to help you ease into the retirement of your dreams.