The Senior Life is supported by readers like you. We may receive a commission, or other payment, if you click on an affiliate link.

What to do before you retire

6 Action Items Before You Retire

Many of the retirement decisions you can expect to make occur after you reach 60 years old. Although it intuitively makes sense to start saving for retirement early in your career, the fact remains that many do not. If you’ve put retirement off. Here are 6 thing you can do before you retire.

1. Sign Up for Social Security

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can start claiming Social Security benefits when you turn 62 years old. However, you lose out on retirement income because you have not reached the official SSA retirement age of 65. 

Justin Castelli, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) has said, “Every year you delay your Social Security benefit between ages 62 and 70, you get an increase in income. If you can delay and supplement your Social Security with an IRA or another source of income, your payments will go up.” 

Retirees who wait until they hit 70 years of age receive the largest Social Security payouts. If you have saved enough money through a privately run plan, waiting until you turn 70 is the best choice for tapping into your hard-earned Social Security benefits.

2. Health Insurance for Retirement

One of the most important items on your retirement checklist is coverage under a comprehensive health insurance policy. It’s a fact of life that as we grow older, we spend more money taking care of ourselves. 

Before you sign out for the last time at work, make sure you will continue to receive health insurance coverage for medical emergencies and ongoing health issues. If you do not have access to an employer-sponsored health insurance policy, you’ll have to wait until you reach 65 years of age to become eligible for Medicare health insurance. However, if you tap into your Social Security money early, Medicare health insurance automatically kicks in to give you peace of mind.

3 – Negotiating Health Insurance and Retirement Benefits

Depending on how your employer handles retirement benefits, you might be able to negotiate the amount you pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. You should also look into whether you can negotiate coverage and keep your dental and/or vision plan. 

If you receive a pension, ask the Human Resources manager about restructuring payments to match the retirement lifestyle of your choice. You can take a lump sum upon retirement, or choose to receive monthly payments. 

The key is to structure your retirement benefits and health insurance coverage for your own peace of mind and a financially secure retirement.

4. Decide When You’ll Leave Your Job

One of the most beautiful things in life is being able to tell your boss, “Take this job and…” Well, you know the rest. Most of us leave our careers with pomp and circumstance, complete with a retirement party or some other shindig that shines the spotlight on our career achievements. One day, you will have to decide when you want to leave your job. As a professor of public affairs and consumer science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Karen Holden says, “Some people retire because they are laid off or let go. Spouses will retire because of the health of the other spouse. You need a plan to cope with emergencies and have the ability to be flexible and make adjustments in retirement.”

“What is really important is having a sense of safety, community and economic security. Consider where you can live with dignity and with a support network if your physical characteristics change over time.”

Becky Yust, Professor of Housing Studies, University of Minnesota

5. Determine Where You’ll LIve 

Retirement offers you the opportunity to build a new life anywhere you want to live. No longer bound by career constraints, you can sell your home and use the excess cash to finance your retirement years in a place you’ve wanted to live since you started pursuing a career. 

Just remember that moving away from friends and family members removes your support system. “What is really important is having a sense of safety, community and economic security,” says Becky Yust, professor of housing studies at the University of Minnesota. “Consider where you can live with dignity and with a support network if your physical characteristics change over time.”

6. Find a Financial Advisor for Retirement

Finally, you should choose a financial advisor before you retire. One of the most important things a financial advisor can do is help you preserve capital for 

Subscribe to our newsletter