Retirement nearing? Do these 5 things first.

Steven Neeley |

What’s your ideal retirement?

Traveling? Practicing your favorite hobbies? Caring for loved ones?

Whatever you envision, creating a plan of action can be daunting.

There are, however, a few simple, yet commonly overlooked steps you can take today to help you feel more comfortable throughout your planning process. 

5 Tasks that Could Help You Find Retirement Bliss

Romantic ideas of retirement don’t become a reality all by themselves. They’re also not usually sustainable without a solid foundation and a well-thought-out plan. Part of that requires the tasks below, which can easily fall to the wayside, especially if you aren’t sure how to tackle them.

1. Budgeting & Number Crunching

How much will it cost to live every year you’re retired? What does your monthly budget in retirement look like?

Many of us know how much we need to save, so we can retire. Fewer of us have done the math to work out how much money we really need every month or year when we’re retired.

I suggest using some type of budgeting software like Quicken (though feel free to use anything you like) to categorize your expenses, and to get a solid grasp of what your expenses may be as you head into retirement.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to budget for big ticket items that won’t show up in your monthly budget like cars or major home repairs/improvements. There’s nothing like an unexpected $25,000 expense to throw you off course.


2. Factoring Inflation into Your Plans

How much will your retirement budget—and your purchasing power—change in 5 to 10 years?

Inflation can be the elephant in the room of retirement talks, and ignoring it can be a disaster for your future budget.

Pro tip: Estimate conservatively and use higher rates for certain items like health care, which has consistently outpaced general inflation and shows no signs of abating. Also, don’t look at the numbers as absolutes. View them as “working” references that you may need to revisit in the future as inflation rates change.1

3. Planning for Longevity, Health Care & Long-Term Care

Ideal retirement plans now may not work for you in the future. It’s important to consider that your post-work life could last at least three decades.2

What’s more, health care costs could eat up a significant portion of your savings. According to Fidelity Investments, couples 65 and older can expect to spend close to $315,000 after-tax dollars on health and medical expenses throughout retirement.

That means planning not just for your jet-setting retirement years but also for your later-in-life needs too.2

Pro tip: You aren’t locked into your retirement plan. If it’s not working or your needs evolve, your plan and the financial strategies that back it up can shift too.

4. Addressing Potential Boredom

This one often gets overlooked, but it is a real issue. Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 seniors reports being depressed after they retire?[4]


Retiring can open up more time than you may be ready for, especially if your loved ones are busy with work or school. Boredom can become a real problem for retirees, as a lack of mental and emotional stimulation can negatively affect our health and quality of life.3 

Pro tip: Think about creating new retirement habits and routines that are based on your passions and values. It can take time to construct a productive schedule, but once done, can provide consistent structure, comfort, purpose, and satisfaction.3

5. Considering the Possible Alternatives

Retirement doesn’t have to mean you never work again. These days, more people are carving out their own transitions into retired life. Entrepreneurship or scaled-down, part-time work schedules are popular options.

Pro tip: You don’t have to have to work in the industry you want to retire from, and you don’t need a high-powered job to make your professional life meaningful. Some may even choose to go back to school and be “professional students,” earning additional degrees instead of a part-time income.

Retirement Planning: What’s next?

The good news is that there are plenty of ways for you to prepare for retirement. First, you can purchase comprehensive financial planning software for a reasonable price. If you are financially savvy, and confident in your assumptions, this is a great option.

If you are less confident, another good option is hiring a certified financial planner on an hourly basis or for a flat fee to run a financial plan for you.

Obviously, I’m biased, but I genuinely believe there’s a lot of value in getting a second opinion. Someone experienced in retirement planning is likely to point things out that you’ve never even considered.



This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. This material was developed and produced by Advisor Websites to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. Copyright 2024 Advisor Websites.