Retirement is in the foreseeable future. All your life you’ve given some thought to what it would be like. As the time approaches, there’s a mixed sense of panic and excitement. If you’ve planned for retirement, excitement will overtake any feelings of panic. Let’s examine retirement mistakes to avoid:
Shortage of Money – Meet With Financial Advisor
Since finances are a huge concern as you head toward being unemployed, advice from a respected and trusted financial expert will put your mind at ease. You will know the safest means of growing your money and wisely using accessible funds.
Too Expensive Cost of Living – Consider Downsizing Your Residence
A review of your residence may reveal that it is time to consider moving to not only a smaller dwelling but also a less costly one. The best way to do this is to list your current expenses. Next, take the average monthly income you will have on hand when retired and subtract those expenses. Will you have enough remaining to live without worry? If not, consider your options: Sell your current residence and buy a smaller one which would cost less to heat and operate, not to mention fewer taxes. Or, another option is to purchase or rent a condominium or townhouse. The choice that many avoid is that of moving into a senior residence or independent living facility. Why not look into all of the options. Keep a list of pros and cons for each and then review the comparisons. That should leave you with a clear vision of what will work best for you.
Remain in an Undesirable Location – Relocation Possibility
Flocks of seniors are going to Arizona, Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia and Florida. If this is something that has been in the back of your mind, now is the time to seriously look into your options. Certainly, checking the Internet for available real estate is a start. Most people can’t afford to visit all the potential areas of interest. The next best thing would be to meet with a realtor whose agency is country-wide. That person could provide you with multiple listing information. Naturally, once you have narrowed down the choices to two or three, it is best to make the trip to view the dwellings, the neighborhoods and discover, through talking with the natives, the pros and cons of living there.
Need Family Assistance – Move In With Family
Some families discuss building an in-laws apartment. Now would be the time to further investigate this option. You’ll need to be clear on exactly what space you would have; who will pay for the renovation; who will pay for the maintenance and utilities, and what would be expected of you in exchange for residing in that home. While most parents cringe at the thought of getting it in writing with their adult children, it is best for all concerned. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to write out the specifics in detail. Make a copy of that document, and then all involved should sign and date both copies, so that you and your child/children have originals. By making a contract, all parties are clear on the expectations.
Burdened With Excess “Stuff” – Lighten Household Storage
All that stuff that was put in the attic or taken down to the basement, and then forgotten, needs to be examined and moved. In most cases, relatives or adult children don’t even remember what is there. You are about to embark on a whole new future, and that does not include all those extra items. Notify those who have stored items of a deadline to remove them or the items will be sold at a household sale. Put it in writing for them, so they cannot say they weren’t aware of your notice. As a courtesy toward the approaching deadline, serve a second reminder if you see that nothing has been removed.
Remaining items after your household or garage sale could be donated to the Salvation Army, Good Will, Vietnam Veterans or any other charitable organization. Ask for a tax receipt.
Lose Some Benefits – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
Before retirement is the time to research the requirements of these benefits. There are deadlines for applying and penalties for being late. At least a year in advance of your planned retirement, contact the appropriate offices or at least read all the information shown on the Internet. In most cases, you can begin your applications on the Internet. http://www.ssa.gov/; http://www.cms.gov/home/medicaid.asp. Your medical doctor’s office will also be an excellent source of information.
Feel Depressed and Unneeded – Volunteering
There may be some organizations for which you’ve had an interest and you’ve given some thought to volunteering at some day. You’ve heard many say how they are busier during retirement than they were while employed. However, before they reached that point, most retirees went through a time of boredom and feeling unneeded. Face it, for years you’ve been a valuable person in your profession. Once you retire, all that recognition and companionship of co-workers will be gone. The let-down can become depressing. While it is almost impossible to imagine what it will be like to not be employed, it is wise to have some planned time to keep you occupied. Volunteering will enable you to feel useful and needed. The rewards of volunteering are, indeed, greater than what the receiver of your generosity gains. Don’t over-commit your time, which will make volunteering feel like a chore. A day a week is a good beginning.
Congratulations and best wishes for many enjoyable years of doing all the things you’ve always wished you had time to do. By planning, you will be left with few, if any, retirement mistakes.