This may seem silly. You are probably thinking: why would I need to practice for retirement? Well just like any major life change this will be an adjustment for you. One of the biggest complaints that retirees have is that they didn’t realize how hard it is to have so much free time. The transition from working to not working will be a shock to the system if you don’t ease yourself into it.
Once you decide where you want to go, visit the locale in every season to see if it matches your temperament. There is nothing worse than visiting a place during one season and falling in love only to find out that during the winter it is constantly at arctic temperatures. Also this is important because you will be able to see if you will be able to do the things that you love all year round. Isn’t that one of the best perks of retirement?
A good measure of retirement is to spend time with your friends that have already retired. Asking a person a question is different than actually experiencing their day to day lives with them. There is no better teacher than to experience what we want and do not want. Take this time to have fun and learn.
2. Find and Consult a Good Financial Adviser
A great financial adviser is a must. A trustworthy advisor is a necessity. This is a person who will be responsible for your finances. This is one of the scariest parts of retirement for many people. Will I have enough money? Is retirement feasible for me right now? When you find the right advisor they will walk you through these steps to make sure that these concerns are addressed.
Some of the things that a good financial advisor will cover with you will be items such as emergency money, secondary sources of income, healthcare, and debt. Each of these items will play a major part in planning your retirement. If these items are properly addressed prior to retirement they can insure that you will have a fuller, less stressful retirement. After a lifetime of stress shouldn’t retirement be easier?
3. Make Sure You Have No Debt or Dependents
Debt is one of the biggest causes of fund depletion for those in retirement. If you retire before you pay off your debts you will find yourself struggling and often back at work. This isn’t your idea of retirement. So make sure that you take certain steps to keep this from happening. You want to address any debt that you have with your financial advisor. They will help you make a list and a plan of action to handle it.
Certain items like a mortgage or a car loan are the most common types of debt that will stretch your retirement budget to its limits. This being said, the time right before your retirement is not the best time to go and gain new long term expensive debts if you can help it. It is imperative that you set yourself up for success. The best way to do that is to take on a mind frame of frugality.
Dependents are children or anyone else that depends on you for sustaining life and shelter. This is in many ways a debt. This is a person who relies on you for everything. That means that more than likely they rely on you for medical expenses as well. Can you afford to pay for their healthcare? For most this answer would be an easy no. Plus, a dependent will also hinder you from going out and experiencing the things that you have been planning for this important and well deserved time in your life.
4. Make Sure You Will Have Affordable Healthcare
Healthcare is one of the biggest costs for those in retirement. After you stop working often the medical benefits will end. Begin planning your medical benefits from the beginning. If you take this step you will prevent yourself from going broke.
Medical insurance is one of the true necessities of life. Without sufficient funds, budgets get stretched and often break under the pressure. This does not have to be you. There are many options available in order to get you the healthcare that you need. Before retirement is the time to find out what your options are and how long you will have until the inevitable insurances lapse.
5. Make Sure That You Are Ready For Retirement
As you take these steps you will learn along the way whether or not you are ready to retire. There are some people who will begin walking through the process and realize that they are not ready to retire just yet. This is caused by a variety of reasons. Some people are not ready to give up their busy lifestyle for one that is more docile. Others realize that their finances are not yet in order. Each of these things independently is a good reason to delay retirement until you are ready. Remember, planning is not made to keep you blind. Planning is created to see the viability of a plan and to alter plans accordingly. Retirement is an exciting step into the next chapter of your life. Make sure that you start it off with a well organized bang.