Retirement Income Checklist

Like many people, you may dream of the day when you can stop working and enjoy a comfortable retirement.  This checklist provides key questions to consider so that you can make wise financial decisions during your working years and throughout your retirement.

  • How much will you need? Estimate how much monthly or annual income you will need in retirement.
  • What are your sources of retirement income? Think about what sources of retirement funds will be available, how much you will receive from each, and how long those sources may last, including Social Security, employer retirement plans and your own personal savings.
  • How long will you live? In planning for retirement, it is important to consider how long you might live.  On average, people who reach age 65 live into their 80s, but many will live to 90 and beyond.
  • What if your spouse dies first? If you are married, find out which benefits will continue if you or your spouse should die first.
  • How will the cost of living change in the future? When you estimate your retirement income needs, remember to include the impact of inflation.  Costs are likely to rise each year, and the impact of these increases over time can be quite large.
  • How will you pay for healthcare? Consider how you will pay your medical bills.  Are you eligible for Medicare or other medical insurance?
  • How do you handle the unexpected? Be sure to take into account how you would handle potential emergencies, such as home repairs, unexpected medical bills or family emergencies.
  • What if you need assistance in your retirement? Consider how your retirement income would be affected if you needed long-term care, assistance at home or special housing.  Know what Medicare does and does NOT cover.
  • What will you do in your golden years? If you have specific plans for retirement, such as travel, consider how you plan to pay for it.
  • How will you manage your retirement money? Consider how you will manage your funds and what the right mix of investments is for your retirement needs.  Investments include stocks, bonds, annuities, money market funds, your home, other real estate and other investment savings like IRAs.
  • Have you thought about estate planning? Estate planning is an important part of your plan for retirement.  Seeking expert advice in this area can greatly assist you.

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