Stay Prepared with this Ultimate Retirement Checklist

November 22, 2019

Your plans for retirement may be as unique as a fingerprint but that doesn’t mean the steps leading up to that point in your life aren’t universal. Whether you intend to live out your retired days in an RV, journeying to every national park, or just want to take it easy and live without the stressors of a nine to five, financial stability is key.

Regardless of where you hope to be, it’s important to plan ahead and stick to your plan so that your retirement dreams can come to fruition.

Here are some things we recommend keeping in mind:

1. Check the value of your assets and investments

In preparation for your retirement, you’ve hopefully been saving or investing your money. If you’ve chosen to invest, the goal should be to leave that money to reach maturation. If you’ve opted for a savings account, you’ve hopefully scoped out an option with a higher-yielding interest rate—or anyone that is best serving your needs.

Traditional retirement savings take place in an IRA or 401k but you might have also decided to invest your money in an alternative investment, like real estate. Likely, you’ve chosen to save your money in a combination of these options.

Regardless of which or how many of these choices you’ve decided to take on over the years, it’s important to keep an eye on these assets not just when you’re nearing retirement but throughout the entirety that these assets belong to you. Investments and assets can become susceptible to the health of the economic market. This makes it even more important that you stay on top of what your assets are doing and assess the value of each one. Even more, you’ll want to compare these values and see whether your investments are appreciating or depreciating over time.

If you’re finding your asset values are decreasing over time, you’ll want to evaluate why this is because this means you’re losing money. You might even want to consider hiring a professional to help you figure out what you can do to maintain value. Looking further into the future, as you near retirement, you may want to consider whether you want to keep, sell, or transfer these assets to someone else in your life.

2. Check on your debt

As you’re nearing retirement, you’ll want to check your debt to income and savings ratio. Will you be entering retirement debt-free? If not, what are your plans for this? If it’s looking like you might enter retirement with a mortgage or some form of debt, you may want to consider planning accordingly.

If you hope to pay off your debt before retirement, consider making a budget with these considerations in mind. As your dreams change, you’ll want to adjust your budget to reflect these changes. Retirement is no different. The sooner you know what you want, the sooner you can make your budget reflect these goals.

3. Envision your retired life in detail

Be sure you have a clear vision of what you hope to do in your retirement. Doing so can do more than just help you focus your savings efforts but also might alter your intended budget. Deciding how much money you need for retirement largely depends on what you hope to do and how much you’d like to spend.

As you conceptualize your retired life, try to think about as many details as possible. A good way to begin this work is to consider the below questions:

  • What do you hope to do?
  • Where you hope to go/travel?
  • How much money do I need to retire?
  • Where you’d like to live?
  • Who else you might be sustaining with this budget?

As you consider these questions, more may arise, and this will help illuminate how you need to adjust your retirement goals.

With careful planning, your retirement goals can become more attainable. Regardless of if you’re nearing retirement in one year or twenty, making a roadmap for how you hope to achieve your dream lifestyle in your later years is crucial—and remember, don’t let this process stress you out. The goal is to have a happy retirement!

Don’t forget about your New Year’s resolutions just yet! There’s still time!

The year may be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your resolutions. Take a look at these tips to make the most out of your resolutions before the year comes to an end.

Curious about what flexible loan Illinois Lending has to offer for you? Take a look at our payment calculator and wonder no more! We’re dedicated to providing you with a loan that works for you.

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