Some retirees want to work on their pet projects, while others can think of nothing else but traveling the world the second they retire. Those are great ways to spend time once you say good-bye to your coworkers. But here are seven tasks you should aim to complete before settling into your retirement years.
Move, if it makes sense. Do you have a four bedroom house where only one bedroom is being used? Moving to a smaller home when you retire can allow you to cut the expenses that come with a bigger house. But a move isn’t only about the money. You could relocate to a place that allows you to see your children and grandchildren more often. And it can be more convenient to live in a more compact home. You don't want to spend half of your retirement days cleaning the house.
Tally up what you own. Take stock of all your investments and income sources. It’s important to know how much you can spend each year and how much you want to leave your heirs. Consider getting rid of things you no longer need, such as a second car.
Set a budget. It’s going to be just as boring creating a budget in retirement as it is while you are still working. But knowing how much you can spend in retirement is essential. You will also continue to need an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
Get rid of debt. Get rid of as much debt as you can before you retire. Most of us won’t be able to save enough to pay for our living expenses and debt payments in retirement. If you do have debt on the verge of retirement, develop a plan to pay it down.
Check your insurance. Once your children are adults you may no longer need life insurance, unless it’s part of an estate planning process. Auto insurance should also be updated now that you don’t need to commute. Updating your policy could mean cutting a smaller check every few months. There might also be other features on the car insurance policy that you can eliminate.
Update your will. Most people don’t update their will as often as they should. Going into retirement is stepping into another phase of your life. Update your will to reflect your new situation.
Relax. You are retired. Get the basics done so you can enjoy some well deserved relaxation.
David Ning runs MoneyNing, a personal finance site aimed at helping others change their habits for a better financial future. He suggests that everyone to sign up for an online savings account to get more out of our hard earned money.