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7 Steps to Prepare for Retirement

Senior Couple riding in car

You have worked for most of your life and are likely looking forward to the freedom of retirement years. You may have plans to travel, spend more time with relatives, or spend more time on the hobbies you enjoy. When retirement is on the horizon, planning can make a significant difference in your quality of life.

Plan for Early Retirement

Many people are forced to retire earlier than planned, whether due to losing employment, or a health condition impacting the ability to work. Once you reach your 50s or 60s, it is very wise to start carving away at debts such as credit card debt, car loans, and other monthly bills to reduce your overhead as much as possible.

Get Your Health Insurance in Order

Once you reach the age of 65, you can enroll in Medicare – but delay your enrollment if you are still working. Once you begin to get Social Security benefits, you must enroll in at least Medicare Part A, hospital insurance. If your employer offers a healthcare plan for retiring workers, it is likely best to enroll in Medicare at age 65 as you will gain a more comprehensive level of coverage. If you work for a small company with less than 20 employees, it may be best to enroll in Medicare at age 65. Those who wait to enroll can be subject to penalties. You will need to enroll in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.

Evaluate Your Retirement Income

If you have an employment history that allows you to be eligible for Social Security benefits, the monthly amount you receive will add to your income from any retirement accounts, or savings you set aside. Most retirement plans require the owner to start taking distributions at a specific age. Work out a spending plan that will preserve as much of your savings as you can, as you will likely have a long and healthy retirement and will need financial support to enjoy life in the years ahead.

Track Your Spending Habits

For several months, keep track of every cent you spend. This will allow you to cut back on unnecessary expenses that don’t significantly alter your quality of life, and allow you to save more money for travel, or whatever activities you choose for your retirement years.

Stay Engaged: Part Time Work or Volunteering

Many retirees discover that they miss the work environment and are happier taking part time work than dropping out of the employment world entirely. Others may choose to volunteer, mentor, or join community groups, establishing new friendships along the way.

Support for Medicare Questions and Concerns

Enrolling in Medicare can be much more confusing than expected. New plans are on the market, and your individual situation will determine which approach is best for you. For assistance in understanding the various plans, connect with one of our local agents who can explain the differences in plans, learn about your situation and budget, and help you select a plan that will work best for you.

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