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Retirement planning checklist

To retire in good financial health takes some planning.

Whether you’re in your 20s or 60s, we’ve got lots of helpful tips to help you prepare for life beyond work. 

We won’t tell you how much you should be saving – everyone’s monthly budget is different. What really counts is what you do with any money you’re able to put aside.

1. Picture your retirement

Retirement offers you the chance to focus on the things that mean most to you.

The following series of questions can help you hone in on your goals and objectives so you can start to picture the lifestyle you really want in retirement.

Timing

  • When do you plan to retire and how long do you have between now and then?
  • What are your likely sources of income in retirement?
  • How much do you need to save today, to achieve your financial goals in retirement?

Enjoyment

  • How do you want to spend your time, energy and resources?
  • Do you have a passion or hobby you’d like to pursue?
  • Do you want to travel more and experience new places, cultures and activities?
  • Would you like to focus on charity work and philanthropy?

Family

  • Do you want to be able to spend more time with your family – whether that’s children, grandchildren, spouse or your parents?
  • Will you need to provide ongoing financial support for your children or grandchildren? If so, how much might that be and for how long?
  • Will your roles and responsibilities in the family change when you retire? If so, how will this impact your life in retirement both personally and financially?

Career and work

  • Do you want to leave the work force completely, or work part time?
  • If you work part time, what would you like your role to be?
  • Are you planning to set up your own business? Or do something completely different?

Health and long-term care

  • Are you adequately covered for insurance (e.g. medical, long-term care, life, vision, dental)?
  • How much do you anticipate spending on healthcare and will your expenses change over time?
  • Do you have any medical conditions that could affect your healthcare costs?
  • If you become incapacitated or require partial or full-time care, have you explored your options?
  • Are you familiar with the assisted living options – and their comparable costs – in your home state?
  • Are you considering enrolling in Medicare if you’re eligible?

Moving or staying put

  • Where do you plan to live when you retire? Will you look to relocate?
  • Are you happy living where you are, or do you hope to move to either the coast, the country, or another country altogether? If you’re planning to move to the U.S. from another country, see our article on Moving to the U.S. for retirement.
  • If you stay where you are, would you keep your current home, or look to downsize?
  • If you were to move, could you potentially make a profit selling your home to help fund your retirement?

Existing liabilities

  • Do you have debt to pay off in retirement? For example, a mortgage, credit loan or child’s college expenses?

2. Define your long-term goals and spending needs

Now you’ve envisioned what you hope retirement to look like, it’s easier to define your long-term financial goals and spending needs. These can inform your investment and saving strategies to put you on track for a comfortable life in retirement.

With your desired lifestyle in mind, ask yourself:

  • What are your ‘must have’ or core spending needs?
  • What are your ‘nice to have’ or surplus spending needs?
  • What are your long-term financial goals?

It always helps to write things down to clarify and solidify your goals.

3. Invest today to save for tomorrow

The answers to the questions in the previous sections are critical. They'll not only help you create clear, thoughtful goals for your life in retirement but they’ll also help you consider the appropriate investment strategy for managing your retirement assets.

Putting as much money as you can into a retirement account is a sensible place to start. But to discuss the retirement strategy that’s best for you, speak to your Wealth Relationship Manager.

4. Focus on estate planning

Estate planning is the foundation for taking care of your family and protecting your assets, implementing a charitable giving strategy, and carrying out your legacy.

While estate planning can mean difficult family conversations, it’s vital to any retirement plan. It will provide you with peace of mind and a plan for unexpected events.

5. Regularly review your plan

After your plan is finalized, it’s important to remember to regularly review your documents. Major life events, significant purchases or sales, and tax law changes are all ‘triggers’ for when you should review your planning.

It's critical to review the beneficiaries for your retirement accounts to confirm who’ll receive these assets upon death.

Our planning solutions for today and for the future

We work with families and individuals around the world on their wealth planning needs. With experts on the ground in key markets, we’re continuously monitoring new developments, opportunities, and changes that may impact your retirement planning.

As you plan for the future, speak to your Wealth Relationship Manager to explore how we can work with you and your family.

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