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How to Prepare for Retirement

Preparing for retirement begins long before you actually retire. There are many things to consider before you are able to leave your job and begin your “golden years.” All you need is MONEY. You will have plenty of time but money is what you will need to enjoy your retirement years. You must know how much you will need to keep your lifestyle. Living on a fixed income is not the same as living on your employment income. When you are working you can always pick up extra income by working overtime, or take on another job.

Here are a few suggestions on how to be ready for your new life in retirement:

1. Pay off all of your credit cards. Do not owe anyone. Be DEBT FREE.

2. Is your home paid for? Will you have enough money to pay your house payment, your property taxes, home insurance? Will you have enough money to pay for the upkeep of your home? Is your home in a high-income neighborhood? Will you be able to keep up with the cost of living there? You might consider moving to a lower cost home.

3. It is a good idea to take some of those trips/vacations before you retire. Once you are retired and on a fixed income, you may not have enough money to take those trips you dreamed about. I hope you will be able to do whatever you wish. The key word here is: money.

4. In fact, it is a good idea to purchase those items you really want before you retire. Like that piece of jewelry, those nice clothes, shoes, a nice car, redecorating the living room, etc. If you plan to take trips, cruises, you should perhaps purchase some nice resort clothing before you retire.

5. What do plan to do with all of your spare time once you are not working? What are you interested in? I have this Web site, to keep me busy! DataOptions.com

6. Healthcare: It would be nice to have a good healthcare plan. But not everyone is so lucky to have healthcare. So it is a good idea to have a savings account for expenses such as a trip to the hospital, clinic. There are clinics, which will take care of minor illnesses. A trip to the hospital … well we all know how expensive even a short stay can be. My husband spent just an hour or so in the hospital and the bill was over $1,700. This was including the ambulance ride there. (1999, California)

7. Medicare: If you sign up for Medicare when you reach age 65 remember that your Social Security check will be less. Never mind that you have had Medicare deducted from each and every paycheck while you were working! My husband Richard signed up for Medicare and now has $159.00 deducted from his check each month forever. Once you sign up for Medicare you will be signed up forever. Whether you use Medicare or not you will be paying for it. And Medicare is for you only. Not for anyone else in your family.

Now is a good time to think about the above suggestions. It is better to be prepared. Remember no one retires without money coming in. And as someone says in a song: “I’ve never been so broke that I couldn’t leave town.” Best to have a bit of money stashed in case you have to move on.

A note about the new Social Security “Privatization/Personal” accounts: Will you receive a report each month regarding your account? Will there be administrative charges to keep your account updated? Social Security is an insurance plan. NOT an investment project.

Aimee L. Walker is a retired woman living in Friday Harbor, Washington, U.S.A. After working for over 45 years she and her husband now depend on Social Security to supplement their retirement. Of course any paid advertisement listings on my Web site help! Advertise: Get Listed!