How do you know when you’re ready to retire? Perhaps you have a dollar amount, an age or a milestone in mind. Before you reach that milestone, it can be helpful to create a comprehensive plan that ensures you’re in control of your money, health and life. Preparing for retirement is about more than filing for social security benefits; when planning, it is important to also take into account your physical and emotional health.
According to Iora’s Chief Financial Officer, Dave Fielding, there are five things you should do to prepare for retirement.
The Ultimate Retirement Ready Checklist:
- Square away health insurance. Be sure to sign up for Medicare and know your insurance options. Your insurance plan should fit your individual health needs. For instance, a Medicare Advantage plan may have lower out of pocket costs, depending on your individual situation. Unsure what plan to sign up for? Visit Medicare.gov and take this quiz. We’ve also put together a blog post on Common Myths About Medicare Advantage.
- Maintain your health. One of the most important things to do in your retirement is to maintain your health. Promoting good health in retirement is important for keeping health care costs down, so be sure to plan for expenses such as a gym membership or fresh food options. Schedule time for exercise and make a budget for healthy living expenses. At Iora, we use a team based approach that is tailored to your life to improve your health.
- Develop hobbies and interests. When retiring, many people wonder how to fill their time. Creating a list of hobbies to explore in retirement can provide some purpose in the first days of your transition out of the workplace. Consider asking friends for hobby ideas or suggestions. At Iora, we offer many free group fitness and community events at our practices, such as Tai Chi, Drumming for Health or yoga. Try one class or try them all if you are having trouble finding a hobby.
- Prepare a retirement budget. When you no longer have a steady paycheck, you have to plan your finances carefully. There are many ways to calculate your cost of living in retirement. You can start by taking an inventory of your assets and building an emergency fund to plan for some of life’s road bumps. Another thing to consider is how your sources of retirement income will be taxed. Remember, if you’ll be drawing from a 401(k) or traditional IRA, those distributions will be subject to income taxes, but distributions from a Roth IRA will not. It’s never too late to start saving, so we put together a blog post on Ways to Save Money When You’re 65 and Older.
- Determine housing. Do you plan to stay in your current home or move elsewhere? What would your housing expenses be in each scenario? If you can’t afford your house anymore, there are resources available in your community that help walk you through your options, such as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offices. Most forms of low-income senior housing are available through four programs subsidized or supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the federal government. Additionally, these local offices can connect you to resources beyond federal government programs, such as state resources to assist with your utility bills and more. For more information and to get help, visit a local HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency. Also, if you and your family are looking at assisted or independent living options, we’ve put together this handy guide: Independent Living vs. Assisted Living: What’s Right for You?
At Iora Primary Care, we look at the whole person and understand that financial stressors can impact your health. We are here to help and can provide resources so that you feel in control and play an active role in your health journey in retirement.
Retirement can be intimidating, but hopefully by following these five tips you can eliminate some of the stress and focus on enjoying extra time with family and loved ones.