Retiring Soon? Here are 7 Tips For You

By Jordan Sheppherd


You have worked hard, saved wisely, and now you are ready to retire. Or are you? If you are considering retiring soon be sure to be prepared. These guidelines will help you make the most of your golden years:

1. Ensure you are vested in your company’s retirement benefits

Work with your company’s benefits specialist to determine how to maximize those funds that the company has contributed to your retirement. Your company’s contributions may not be available to you until you work a certain number of years. Know the landscape and plan to work long enough to maximize your access to those funds.

2. Don’t necessarily rush to Social Security

While you are eligible to begin receiving full benefits at 66, postponing those benefits for a few years will allow you to draw a larger amount at the later date. You don’t have to sign up right away.

3. Enroll in Medicare

You are able to receive Medicare beginning at age 65. Enroll just prior or just after your 65th birthday to prevent later penalty fees for late enrollment. If you retire before age 65, you will have to cover your own medical expenses until you are eligible for Medicare. Plan accordingly.

4. Re-examine your investment strategies

You likely have money invested in some mix of stocks, bonds, and other equities. Since the money you’ve earned is now a primary source of income it’s wise to consider reducing your exposure to risk. Shift your priorities from ‘growth’ towards ‘protection.’

5. Plan your income stream

You will need to determine how much money you need each month and where those monies are coming from. Be careful about drawing too much out of your accounts too quickly. Also, be aware of the tax burden that certain withdrawals will bring.

6. Take your minimum distributions

Once you turn 70 ½ years old, you will be required to withdraw a certain amount from your IRA and 401(k) accounts. Pay attention to these deadlines and amounts to avoid the stiff penalties you’ll incur if you fail.

7. Consider other work

Retirement brings with it many changes. Having a part-time job can keep you connected to your community, provide new social circles, and bring you a little bit of additional income.

Retirement is a big step in life. Be sure you are ready to reap the benefits of it by following the above steps and, most of all, enjoy your well-earned rewards.

Source: U.S. News and World Report

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