Retirement is looming ever closer, but is there any good way to prepare for it? After all, you’ve probably never retired before. To take some of the uncertainty out of retirement, here are 5 steps to test drive retirement before it actually arrives:
- Plan ahead—well in advance of your retirement, make a comprehensive plan that includes your budget, investments, Social Security, health care costs, provisions for common elderly concerns, and a generous rainy day fund for unforeseen events. Also, it’s not too late to start self-directing your IRA to increase your wealth.
- Get your spouse involved—these can be hard conversations, but you’ll need to discuss survivor benefits, your spouse’s intended activities, whether or not he or she will be retired, and future living arrangements.
- Take care of legal concerns—you may need to consult a lawyer or professional planner regarding items like power of attorney, wills, debts, healthcare documentation, and asset titles.
- Live on your retirement budget—to ensure you’ll have a livable retirement income, try living on your retirement budget without any exceptions for a year before you retire.
- Don’t let the cat out of the bag—don’t tell your coworkers or boss that you plan on retiring until a month before the planned date. That prevents the possibility of your boss withholding certain privileges with the knowledge you’re retiring.