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10 Money Goals You Must Achieve Before You Retire - Retirement planning isn't as easy as you may have thought. It's a multi-step process that evolves and not only needs financial planning but emotional and physical planning too. To ensure your retirement is as comfortable and worry-free as you deserve, you need to make specific financial steps that we're about to walk you through in just a minute.
Source: by Aaron Burden

So, without any further, ado. Are you ready to  kick off your golden years, worry-free? If so, here are the money goals you must achieve  before you retire for an easy breezy retirement.

1. Take Stock of Your Assets & Liabilities

While it may seem time-consuming and  tedious, making a list of your assets (and liabilities) can help you determine how smooth your retired life may be.

With regards to investments, write down what investments, stocks, personal properties, vehicles and bonds you have. Knowing how much your net worth is, helps you identify any sources of income you can rely upon during your retirement.

Once you’ve assessed your assets, jot down  your liabilities. This includes personal loans, auto loans, mortgages, student loans and even credit card debts. Figure out how to clear them.  

The secret here is to make sure you’ve paid off all your debts before retirement. When you no longer have to make monthly debt payments, you’ll have more money to put in your savings, allowing you a more comfortable retirement.

2. Set Your Retirement Budget

Now that you’ve listed down your assets, a  budget is required. You will have limited income to spend when you retire, and so you will need a budget to stick to.

Create a spreadsheet with all your anticipated living costs. This will range from health care, taxes, rent, etc. to your day-to-day costs like groceries and transportation.  

Once you have this spreadsheet, determine  which of these expenses are fixed and which are flexible. Expenses that occur every  month and are approximately the same amount are fixed. Flexible expenses are  those which are less regular. This will give you a clearer picture of how much money you’ll have for spontaneous purchases.

After setting your retirement budget, you could also increase your retirement contribution up to the maximum allowed in your IRAs or other retirement plans. The aim is to have more or enough money to support the retirement  you envision. As you near your retirement, try putting into consideration combining IRAs of the same type with one institution.  

Doing this will not only provide a clearer picture of your total retirement assets but also simplify your investment management. Try speaking to a tax professional. They might help tell you the pros and cons of combining your IRAs and the most current 401(k) and IRA contribution limits.

3. Crunch the Numbers

Whether you're planning on early retirement or late retirement, crunching up the numbers is very important. There are lots of questions to ask yourself before you even think about retiring.  

Questions like; How much do you have in  savings? What will your retirement income be?  

What about the post-retirement tax changes? Are you aware of it?  

And what of your future healthcare costs? Have you figured it out? Asking yourself these questions early enough can save you headaches from figuring everything out at the last minute.  

By using the social security calculators and the retirement income calculators, you’ll be able to figure out when you can start receiving your social security benefits which will then help you determine if the amount  of money saved is enough to retire early or not. If it’s enough, then good for you, you  can retire as early as 40 if you want to.

4. Understand Your Social Security Benefits

Many of us have heard of social security  benefits, but we don’t actually know how to take advantage of them (right? Or was I just behind this whole time?)

Regardless, let’s take a look at them in more detail. The first thing you need to know is that social security benefits are determined by your 35 highest-earning years.  

And average retirement income is earned from a combination of accrued savings and social security payments – to be in a safe position, 70% of your current income should be formed by this.

The downside of these benefit payments is  that you can only start receiving the payments at the age of 62. In fact, the more  you delay receiving the benefits, the more you get out of them. For example, if you delay getting social security until age 67, you’ll receive an 8% maximum payment till age 70.

As you can see, if you haven’t yet started, now is the time to figure out when you need to collect benefits. Sign up for a free Social Security Report that can help you figure it all out.

5. Keep adding to retirement savings

Savings, current job, pension wage, IRAs,  social security benefits, investment accounts, money you earn during your retirement, wow let  me just catch my breath. There is a long list of sources from which your retirement money will come from.

Most financial advisors recommend having a minimum of $1 million in savings for retirement. With this in mind, no wonder you’ll need so many sources for your retirement. If you can sense retirement around the corner but have yet to go on at your job for some more time, fear not! Retiring late is just going to bulk up your savings.  

One thing you can do is increasing the  percentage of your savings month by month. This month you add 5% of your income to your savings, next month you add 6% and so on.

There’s an old rule of thumb which  claims that you should spend 4% of your portfolio annually on retirement. This means that if you have $1 million, you’re supposed to spend roughly $40,000 of that  amount per year when you retire. This is a hefty amount. Start saving early and get in on all the  additional sources of income as soon as you can.

6. Review Your Estate Plan

Before we even continue further, have you liked the video? If not, go ahead and give it a thumbs up!

So quick question, have you looked over your  estate plan? You see, this is the preparation of tasks that details the dispersion of your assets and liabilities upon your incapacitation or death.  

This is usually done with the help of an attorney experienced in estate law and should be done when you’re of sound mind. With the estate plan, there are usually three documents, that is; the living will, a trust, and a will. We’re going to give you a brief explanation of each document.

For the living will, is a document that gives details on your medical preferences and your chosen power of attorney. A trust is more  focused on a third party who holds all your assets or benefits for all your beneficiaries. 

This allows the distribution of your estate to move more quickly than a traditional will. The final document is the will which has details of your wishes and how you want your assets divided. This goes into effect after you have passed, which as you have seen in many cases, causes division among family members.

Now that you know about the estate plan, it’s important to figure it out as soon as possible. The good thing is that you can make changes as often as you want to, provided you’re of sound mind.

7. Evaluate Your Health Before Retirement

Before you decide to retire, make sure you  evaluate your health by taking advantage of your employee healthcare plan. You won’t be getting these benefits once you retire, so make sure that you’re up-to-date on annual checkups, hearing aids, dental care, prescriptions, and vision. In short, just make sure you’re healthy in all aspects.

You can also ask your physician or insurance  company for recommendations on post-retirement health, fitness, and nutrition. Most people usually take the retirement health insurance plan after they’ve retired, and Medicare has been the way to go, especially for 65 or older people.  

Try learning now about Medicare and what it  covers. This way, you'll understand how it works and will be less likely to face unpleasant  surprises.

For example, Medicare doesn’t cover dental procedures, glasses, contact lenses, and  some other things. Because of these, it’s best if you take care of such things now when you’re still using your employee's healthcare cards.  

Remember, maintaining your physical health in retirement is crucial to a good quality of life which can no doubt help keep healthcare costs  down. As the old saying goes. Health is wealth!

8. Consider Your Housing Needs

Before you take that last final check, is your current home suitable for your golden  years? If not, then this is the time to start thinking of your housing needs.  

Do you want to relocate to a new city? Would  you prefer to live closer to family and friends? Is your mortgage paid off? These are the questions you need to start asking yourself now.  

If you were thinking about refinancing your  mortgage, you might want to do it now while you’re still employed. This is because getting approved will be easier now than when you’re retired.

In case you need advice regarding  your housing expenses in retirement, the Retirement Housing Foundation is an excellent resource to visit.

9. Schedule Your Retirement with Your Partner

It’s a good idea to sit down with your significant other and discuss your retirement plans before you take the decision of retiring. You need to know what their take on your decision is. Will one of you continue to work while the other starts retirement, or can both of you retire at the same time? Make sure you’re both on the same page. 

Many couples are said to have problems and even consider divorcing after retirement. You wouldn’t want your marriage to end up on the same road. It's best if both of you come up with a plan and strategize how to best spend retirement. This also helps to know if you  can both afford early retirement.

10. Map Out Your Travel Plans Early

Lastly, the fun part is planning on places to  travel. One of the best things about retiring is spending your years exploring the world. Save and prepare your bucket list now to avoid boring days ahead. As you save for it, make sure it’s saved on a different account to avoid using all your money on retirement vacation. Apart from that, you’ll need to also think of the days after the vacation.  

What will you do to make your days enjoyable? You might feel a sense of boredom upon returning home; plan for these days too. Find out your hobbies and look for classes or groups nearby related to it. These are things you should plan about before you retire.  

Write a retirement checklist where you’ll include traveling, getting new hobbies, volunteering in charities, and so much more. Remember, once you’ve retired, all that time is yours. Spend it wisely!

And just like that, you now have the tools to enjoy a stress-free retired life! With that being said, have a great day, and see you in the next one.

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