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Pre-retirement Planning Checklist

Retirement Income
Is there enough?
Make a budget to determine monthly spending needs
Gather all assets to include for supporting retirement years
Decide whether you will be spending tax-deferred (qualified) assets or after tax-dollar assets first. The answer lies in the tax treatment. If there are heirs, leaving qualified assets means income to them as they receive them, while after-tax dollar investments are treated more favorably under current tax laws. If heirs are not an issue, we recommend deferring the tax as long as possible in your lifetime.
Create a retirement income spreadsheet to see how many years the money will last

Insurance: Life, Disability, Health, Long-term Care
Which insurance can you take with you from your current place of employment?
Consider enrolling in a company-offered long-term care policy before you terminate; group rates are less expensive than individual rates.
Medical Insurance
Cobra, PPO, or HMO; plans vary and a selection that pertains to your needs should be considered: some include eye care, dental, free memberships to exercise facilities
Medicare A and B

Retirement Plans: Pensions, 401k, Roth 401k, SEP/IRA, Money Purchase, Defined Benefit
Check to see if the employer retirement plan holds company stock; there are favorable tax rules regarding this subject.
Check all of the plans you participate in to ascertain the rules around early retirement, termination and rollover permissions.
Can they be rolled into an IRA?
Normal retirement age means the money is accessible without penalty at either age 59 ½ (or older if designated by the plan).
Early retirement for some plans means age 55; this means there is access to a pension plan before age 59 ½ without penalty, even though the tax would still be due. Once the money is rolled into an IRA, a 10% penalty would be assessed if withdrawn before 59 ½.
Reasons to consolidate all retirement monies
Ease of tracking and evaluating
Ease of RMD calculations
Coordination of beneficiaries
Social Security Benefits
The earlier you begin taking benefits, the smaller the benefit
Delaying until age 70 means a much larger benefit
Payments are taxed over a certain threshold, even if you are at full retirement age

Miscellaneous Tips:
Check with your Human Resources Department whether “any” date for retirement is acceptable or whether it must be on the first day of a calendar month.
Check whether a bonus, if you expect one, would be in jeopardy should you retire before 12/31 of the calendar year.
Apply for a Home Equity Line of Credit at your bank BEFORE retiring. Banks tend not to award loans once the income stream is gone and HELOCs can be powerful cash reserves in case of emergencies. There is no cost for this and it does not have to be used if money is not needed.
Once on Medicare, be sure to take advantage of the many senior discounts, including admission to parks and movies, and using public transport.
Buy a lifetime membership to our National Parks for $10 and you never have to pay an entrance fee for you and 3 others again.
Check with your doctor about inoculations recommended for older adults: shingles, pneumonia.