HOW CAN I PLAN FOR A STRATEGIC RETIREMENT?
Are you approaching retirement? Not sure how you can ensure a smooth transition from working life to retired life? Walking away from regular paychecks and employer-provided benefits can feel a little nerve-wracking. Minimize the impact of these major life changes by planning accordingly.
Time It Right
Get your timing right. Review and understand your employer’s policies on 401(k) matching and profit sharing. Make sure you plan to retire at a time when you can reap all the vested benefits you have coming to you before they expire. Sit down with your company’s HR department to maximize your retirement benefits.
Bridge The Insurance Gap
If you are retiring before the age of 65, you could have a lapse in insurance coverage before you are eligible for Medicare. If your employer doesn’t offer retiree health insurance benefits (and most don’t), look into COBRA insurance to extend your current coverage or an individual insurance plan to carry you over until Medicare kicks in. Don’t forget about life insurance and long-term care insurance either. If you do not have an insurance advisor you trust, we can refer you to someone we work with and trust. We can also provide an objective review on any insurance you do have in place to make sure it’s the right amount(s) and right type(s) for you.
Petition For Your Pension
Apply for your pension at least five months before you retire. Get a benefits statement, and consider your payout options if you have them (e.g. lump sum vs. annuity). Coordinate your pension payout to minimize your tax liability while still meeting your financial needs.
Rearrange Your Retirement Funds
Consider consolidating accounts and rolling 401(k) funds into an IRA for more investment freedom and easier management. Conversely, some retirees find that investment options with employer-provided 401(k)s are cheaper than those bought independently. Make sure you discuss your options with a financial professional and select the option that maximizes your income and gives you the flexibility you need. And, of course, ensure your beneficiary designations are set up to make sure your retirement benefits go exactly where you want them to go.
Planning a strategic retirement takes forethought, and don’t short sell yourself on all the perks you may be owed. Make sure you take advantage of all the benefits your employer offers and carefully plan how you will manage your retirement income to minimize tax liabilities. Following these simple steps can help ensure you are financially prepared for retirement.
If you are nearing retirement, consider sitting down with one of our attorneys. At Kira Doyle Law, we can help you strategize your retirement to secure the maximum benefit before you retire. Before we meet, we’ll send you our Estate Planning Worksheet to complete that will get you thinking about what you own, what matters most to you, and what you need to do to preserve your financial well-being and retire comfortably.
If you are ready to take the next step towards preparing for retirement, start by calling our office in St. Petersburg, FL, at 727-537-6818, to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Estate Planning Attorneys today!