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A Checklist to a Successful Retirement

The most effective strategy to deal with retirement anxieties is confronting them head-on. The sooner you begin planning for your retirement, the better. Only 18% of potential retirees have a written retirement plan, according to a 2020 TransAmerica poll, and only 9% of retirees routinely discuss retirement planning with friends and family. 
Here’s a checklist of items to consider for your retirement plan to assist you. 
1. Know the Numbers, But Don’t Worry About Them  There are a lot of important-sounding numbers in the retirement world. They’re useful in the broadest sense – and occasionally only for shock value. For example, they can tell you if you’re falling behind on your savings. Focus more on your real-life scenario. 
2. Apply for Social Security at the Appropriate Time  You’re undoubtedly aware that those who delay enrolling in Social Security receive higher monthly benefits later. Delaying retirement until you’re 70 will boost your benefits by nearly 75%. 
3. Decide when you want to retire.  Commit to a specific date to stop working after calculating how much money you’ll have for retirement and the amount you’ll be spending once you’re retired. Remember that no war plan will last if it comes into touch with the enemy.  4. Take Care of Your Debt  It’s important to clear your debt before retirement, as it can eat up a part of your income. Working until the mortgage, vehicle loan, credit cards, and student loans are all paid off makes sense for many retirement plans.  
5. Don’t Forget to Plan Your Estate  Make sure you leave behind the legacy you want after working your entire life. Check to see if each account has a designated beneficiary. Make a change to your will. Give monetary gifts to loved ones and donate to charity if you want to. 
6. Develop a Draw-Down Plan  Maximizing your income while limiting Uncle Sam’s cut is one of the most difficult aspects of retirement. In retirement, most persons face a number of tax issues, including required minimum distributions (RMDs) and Medicare income limits. Consider doing tax-saving Roth conversions after you retire, but before you start collecting Social Security7. Create a budgeting strategy  Many people underestimate the increased first-year costs of retirement, which might be compared to startup costs. You’ll undoubtedly spend more on vacation than you anticipated, and transferring to Medicare may result in higher costs and closing fees if you downsize your house. 
It’s an inevitable aspect of retirement, and you may budget for it by creating a spending plan. 
8. Use financial advisors rightly  When it comes to retirement planning, a financial advisor can be extremely beneficial. Many people, however, employ financial counselors in the wrong way. Some people use advisors as a costly source of stock suggestions rather than paying for crucial work on estate planning and tax strategies. 
9. Look at the stock market, bond funds, cash, and Social Security.  Calculate your net worth first: Make a list of your assets and liabilities, and have a firm grasp on your balance sheet.  This advice may seem self-evident, but you may overlook something important, like how your available income may alter depending on when you receive Social Security.  10. Continue to work as long as you can  Keeping working is a terrific approach to boost your retirement. Every dollar you earn is a dollar you don’t have to take out of your retirement fund.  Make a strategy for part-time work once you retire, well before you hand in your official resignation. 
11. Make Medical Expenses and Long-Term Care a Priority.  Medicare is decent, but many people are unaware that it does not cover everything. For example, one in every five Medicare enrollees pays for Medigap coverage, which costs around $150 per month. Expect to pay a lot for private coverage if you retire before Medicare eligibility. Also, budget for long-term care insurance. 
12. A Multi-Tier Retirement Investing Strategy Is Required  Put at least five years’ worth of living costs in liquid, safe assets, then invest the balance as you would while working. This move to safety can sneak up on you, so ensure your strategy anticipates a gradual transition from risky longer-term investments to shorter-term safe ones. 

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