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Top 6 Things to Address as You Approach Retirement

Are You Approaching Retirement?
If you’re five to ten years away, these six items are important for the homestretch.

Planning for retirement may be easily compared to a long distance race. For decades, slow and steady, consistent decision-making and diligent saving are the same requirements, year after year. But when you’re in the final five to ten years, the finish line is within sight and it can be tempting to claim an early victory. But making a mistake in this critical stage can cost you the race, or in other words, compromise your retirement.

A comprehensive survey completed this year by the Employee Benefit Research Institute showed that only 22 percent of American workers are completely confident they will have enough money during retirement. Also, 64 percent said they know they are behind where they should be with their savings. Without a plan in place and a reality check, lifestyle cutbacks would have to be made in retirement, which is opposite of what most of us anticipate our retirement years to be.

During the last five to ten years in particular, important decisions arise that could affect the course of your retirement. There are items that need to be addressed to ensure that you’re successful post-race and throughout your entire retirement. Six of the most important action items are:

Understand Medicare. The ins and outs of Medicare can be tricky to understand. The government can make changes to Medicare anytime. Medical insurance and possibly health care costs in retirement are some of the most significant issues to consider when planning ahead.

Understand Social Security. Especially given the recent changes to Social Security in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, it is essential that you fully understand your options and have a solid strategy in place for the current Social Security law and for the future, should any more changes arise during retirement years.

Manage Debt. Whether your debt is all paid off or you’re still working on it, there must be a plan in place to pay it off and you must stick to that plan, given the fact that you won’t have the same amount of working income during retirement.

Save and Save More. No one knows when an emergency will arise, whether it’s home repairs or health issues, but having several months of expenses in a cash account to use only if absolutely necessary is part of a smart plan.

Plan Your Estate. Creating a will is the first step, but setting up a trust, powers of attorney, investment plan and beneficiaries are all necessary. It’s so easy to delay what you think you won’t need for a while, but protecting your assets and your family can never start too soon.

Seek Professional Advice. This is the most important one. If you’ve been a solo runner for years, there’s no better time to ensure that your golden years are exactly how you always envisioned than this critical phase. It is never too late to have a roadmap created for you and an income plan in place, especially since retirement could span decades.

If you have any questions about planning for retirement, request a call from a Bayntree financial advisor today.

Bayntree Wealth Advisors, located in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. The Bayntree team specializes in all aspects of financial health, including retirement planning, risk management, investment advice, tax strategies, estate planning and insurance.

Bayntree does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or legal professional for guidance with your individual situation.

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