Retirement is a time when many people hope to fulfill some of their life-long ambitions. It might take shape in the area of traveling extensively, going back to school or a host of other things. But it’s not one of those situations where you “POOF IT” into existence. It just doesn’t happen quite that easily.
There is no doubt in lieu of our nation’s current economic woes, people are rethinking when this “rite of passage” should happen for them.
An article entitled, “Preparing for Retirement” provides some excellent pointers in steering you in the right direction. This story can be found in the Mature Living Magazine, August 2010 edition. It is written by Maureen Schuster, a licensed social worker, specializing in elder care issues. She compartmentalizes these tips in 5 understandable steps.
First and foremost: List Your Goals – This step should include a vision of what you want your retirement to look like. Are you wanting to travel or stay closer to home are questions you might give serious consideration to.
Second: Because this is a major change in your lifestyle it should be given high priority. Married couples should effectively communicate with each other as to their thoughts on the issue. After all you both will be affected. This topic is equally important for those who are single, divorced and widowed. Ms. Schuster also mentions the need of prayer before making a final decision. That is the most important thing you can do for yourself.
Third: Manage your money – This is a point she elaborates on and for good reason. Before setting a retirement date you should contact or visit your local Social Security Administration. They will be able to provide pertinent information and a current statement of what your potential payments may be. Also don’t forget to schedule some time with the benefits coordinator at your place of employment. Personnel in this department will give you much-needed information as to how much you will receive upon your retirement. Inquire about other investments you might have in your possession.
Fourth: Manage your health care – Make sure you plan to visit physicians, dentists and eye doctors before retirement begins. Schedule these appointments well in advance to be sure you’re allowing your self enough time in case additional visits become necessary.
Fifth: Decide what living situation will work best for you. She makes good recommendations if choosing to stay in your current home to have some home improvements done. They may include having a larger doorway installed or a stand-up shower installed in the master bath. I would also add that you might want to upgrade your bathrooms with handicapped-accessible apparatus. Better to do it before retirement so it doesn’t become a financial strain later on.
She recognizes that some retirees will opt to downsize into low maintenance housing. She says, “Assess the things that are important as to what will determine where you live. Things such as your church, friends, favorite shopping centers, physical and social needs” (pg. 18).
Ms. Schuster offers some very great ideas that can be most beneficial if you’re on the cusp of retirement.
After all, you’ve earned that right. Don’t let poor decisions and unwise choices on your part, spoil that long-sought after dream. Be informed of how this will effect you for the rest of your life. By following these simple steps you should be on your way to a most rewarding future.
Happy retirement and enjoy yourselves!!!!!!
Mature Living Magazine, August 2010 issue, pgs. 16-18