Turning 65? How to Prepare for Retirement

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Turning 65 and preparing for retirement can be bittersweet. On one hand, you’ll finally have the time to do all the things you never got around to and you won’t have to work anymore. But on the other hand, you might not be fully prepared emotionally or financially to deal with it. But with proper planning and preparation, you can ease into retirement emotionally prepared with your finances intact. Use the following five tips as a guide for what to do to make sure you can truly enjoy your golden years.

1. Set Retirement Goals & Create a Budget

Before you retire, it can help to set some retirement goals when it comes to your income. How much money do you want to have? How much will you get from a 401(k), 403(b), or pension? Will you be eligible for Social Security benefits? Thinking about your monthly expenses and how you’ll cover them can help ensure you’re comfortable once you start retirement.

Creating a budget means understanding your basic costs — like healthcare, food, housing, and transportation — and then thinking about additional costs. When going over your finances for the next few years, make sure to factor in inflation so that you can continue to cover your monthly expenses over time.

2. Consider Medicare

Turning 65 means Medicare is finally an option and one that not only provides adequate health insurance coverage, but also can be used as an amazing resource for seniors to transition successfully. If your 65th birthday is coming up, it’s time to think about when you can sign up, how to sign up, and how much it’s going to cost. If you’re already getting Social Security benefits, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare so you won’t have to do anything once you turn 65. However, if you’re not, you’ll need to figure out when your enrollment period starts so you can avoid late fees.

3. Think About the Emotional Toll It’ll Take

Leaving the workforce after decades of working can be a scary and emotional time for seniors. Big changes, especially ones like leaving behind a world you’ve seemingly always known, can be unsettling. Talk to people you trust about the transition so that you can process the big changes in your life more comfortably. Discuss the changes with your children, your spouse, a friend, or another person you trust (like your priest or pastor). Feeling emotionally prepared for retirement can make things easier once the day finally comes and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or alone.

4. Plan How You’ll Spend Your Time

For many people, retirement is the time where they finally get to do all of the things they enjoy most. If you have things you’ve always wanted to do, then now is the time to start planning how and when you’ll do those things. Whether you’ve dreamed of traveling, learning new hobbies, volunteering, writing a book, or starting a business, start thinking about the steps you’ll take to make these things a reality. Make your golden years truly great by doing any and everything you can to live your best life in retirement.

5. Consider Investing

If you think you’ll need additional income during retirement, consider investing your retirement fund in an investment vehicle you’re comfortable with. You’ll need to think about the level of risk you’re comfortable with before investing. Think about connecting with a financial advisor who can help you navigate your array of choices when it comes to investing your retirement savings. From dividend-paying stocks to retirement income funds, you have a few options to consider for adding another stream of income to your pension or Social Security payments.

Making the Transition Easier

Turning 65 and entering retirement can be an exciting time, but it can also come with emotional and financial worries. However, planning for it ahead of time and talking about the transition with people you trust can help you transition into retirement without feeling overwhelmed. Get everything in order by creating a budget, considering Medicare, taking care of your emotional health, planning how you’ll spend your time, and considering investing.

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