This is the conclusion of our 2 part series on an easy-to-use pre-retirement checklist. Did you miss part 1? You can catch up here.
The goal of this checklist is to help you stay on track for your retirement, without causing you too much stress, confusion, or anxiety.
Ready to dive in?
2 Years to Retirement
This is when you really need to get serious about your retirement needs and set plans. Spend time firming up where you want to live. You can do this by spending some vacation time in potential areas, and doing thorough research on real estate markets. If youâ€™re planning on downsizing, come up with a timeline of selling your current residence and dealing with all your extra stuff.
If youâ€™re planning on retiring before you can access your retirement accounts, take some time to plan and begin building an After-Tax savings to bridge the gap between your early retirement and when your accounts kick in.
Your 2 Year checklist is:
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- Come up with a fun but effective way to track your retirement progress
- Try out a retirement â€œtrial runâ€ by living on your projected retirement income for at least 6 months
- Evaluate post-retirement insurance, including independent life insurance
- Plan for bridging any gaps between your retirement age and when you can access your accounts
- Think about potential new hobbies or interests
- Spend time in a target retirement location
- Set up a password keeper to keep track of all the information
1 Year to Retirement
This is when it gets really exciting. Though thereâ€™s a lot to do, it should be mostly fun and thrilling as youâ€™re laying the final plans for your retirement. You should start positioning your investment portfolio for withdrawals, reviewing your asset allocation, building a cash buffer to avoid a sequence of return risk, and finalizing your withdrawal strategy.
Your 1 Year checklist is:
- If youâ€™re moving, finalize when to sell your current home
- Create a retirement bucket list for things youâ€™d like to do
- Make sure all of your estate planning documents are up to date
- Come up with a retirement withdrawal strategy
- Deciding your Social Security claiming plan
- Consider a bucket system for your retirement paycheck
- Begin creating a social network outside of work
6 Months to Retirement
Youâ€™re in the home stretch â€“ congratulations! This is when you should be making any final major purchases, as you still have a paycheck. Spend some serious time thinking about what your retirement goals are in terms of a purpose, and begin ramping up your activities outside of work.
Your 6 Month checklist is:
- Choose when and how youâ€™ll notify your employer of your retirement
- Finalize all departure requirements with your employer
- Create a personal email account and switch over all subscriptions to the new address
- Think about getting a HELOC on properties with large equity as its easier to do when employed
- Make any final large purchases now, like cars, hobby items, or toys
- Take care of final medical issues like dental work, surgeries, new glasses
- Finalize your retirement insurance plan
Once you check off all these items, all you have left to do is retire! Enjoy your retirement, as youâ€™ve put in the work necessary to make it as relaxing and fun as possible.
How far are you on your retirement checklist? Let us know in the comment section.