Retirement might be universally celebrated as the time for well-deserved leisure, but the period leading up to retirement can be anything but relaxing. There often seems to be endless lists of things to consider and undertake. That’s why it’s never too soon to move your retirement planning from the early stages to the production stage!
1. Refine Your Budget
As you get closer to retirement, a more precise picture emerges regarding your pension and Social Security amounts, along with other potential sources of income. Use those figures to determine what your monthly and yearly income amounts will be and what kind of lifestyle will best work within your specific income.
Part of the planning process should involve refining your goals. You should develop a clear budget for your food, entertainment, and clothing expenses. It would also be wise to plan for changes such as moving to a retirement community, extensive travel, or perhaps financial support for adult children. Consider your resources to help you prioritize these goals and set realistic amounts for each one.
Finally, make sure you understand what your post-retirement healthcare options are. This can also include long-term care expenses, as well as additional adjustments you may need to make to pay for your healthcare and prescription plans.
2. Deal With Your Assets
If you know you’ll move into a retirement community after you stop working full time, now is the time to consider what to do with your current home and other major assets. There is no cookie-cutter approach to this process. Your best bet will be to consult your trusted lawyer or hire a certified financial planner. (It’s also possible that your bank, investment firm, or insurance company offers financial consulting to its members.)
You’ll want to consider how you’ll be funding your home in a retirement community. If you need to sell your current house or condo to pay for the retirement community home expenses, there won’t be much to consider. But sometimes, people can utilize their incomes from IRAs, 401(k)s, and similar plans to fund independent living options. In this case, a consultant can help you decide how to handle any properties you currently own.
(In many cases, it’s not legal to transfer the deed of significant assets to a family member if you’ll receive financial support toward independent living or long-term care through Medicare or Medicaid.) Again, checking with your advisor about state regulations, as well as the financial implications for various scenarios, is a smart move.
3. Take Diet and Exercise More Seriously
Poor eating habits pose more of a danger to your health as you get older. Now is the time to cut back on your junk food and TV dinner binges and to gradually add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Try to eat whole grains instead of white bread and white rice, and swap red meat for lean proteins like fish, chicken, and legumes.
If you don’t already participate in moderate exercise most days, ask your doctor about the best way to start. Ideally, you’ll want to include both cardio workouts, such as walking or swimming, and strength training, such as lifting weights or taking yoga classes.
These simple changes can add up in a short amount of time. Doing so will help reduce your diabetes, stroke, and heart disease risk. You’ll also have more energy.
4. Get Your Sleep
Unhealthy bedtime rituals formed during your younger years can be hard to break. Add to that the fact that seniors can find it harder to fall asleep, and you may be robbing yourself of the sleep that you need.
Has your spouse been complaining for years about your snoring? Ask your physician about devices designed to help improve the quality of your sleep. In addition, pick up healthier habits like getting more exercise and cutting back on rich snacks before bedtime. Try to alter your nightly routine to help you feel sleepier, whether that involves chamomile tea, a warm bath, or a good book.
5. Stay on Top of Appointments
Now more than ever, it’s important to make – and keep – your medical appointments. These checkups are known as preventative visits precisely because they do genuinely catch problems before they become medical emergencies.
Keep in mind that in your senior years, more types of specialists should be added under the “medical umbrella.” Appointments should include your general practitioner, dentist, and optometrist. Your doctor may also suggest dermatologists rule out skin cancers, as well as those irritating but important tests like colonoscopies and mammograms.
If you’d like to know more about the “nuts and bolts” of retirement planning, including potentially moving into an independent living neighborhood in the greater Cincinnati area, contact us today. We can give you an overview of the neighborhood, living accommodations, services, and amenities that Deupree House offers and answer your questions about the logistics of making the transition to a retirement community.