We all want to retire peacefully where we can just relax and enjoy life. But as we get closer and closer to our golden years, are we all set for retirement? Here are some of the important things we should check before we retire

Emergency Fund

This concept is also applicable to retirement. In fact, this must be the first thing that you need to do above all else. This safety net will get you through difficulties or unforeseen circumstances including unexpected medical expenses, expensive home maintenance issues, or market downturns.

An individual must have at least six months worth of living expenses aside from your retirement plan or investment portfolio. In times of economic downturn and you are living off your savings, you may also add 12 to 18 months of cash in your portfolio to allow investment recuperation.

Retirement Income Plan

Create a written budget and balance sheet. Look into your budget to know and determine cash inflows and cash outflows. The key to a good retirement is that your inflows must exceed your outflows – or you won't fully enjoy your senior years.

Then, list down all your assets and debts in a balance sheet to determine your net worth. Most retirees rely on their savings, so it is important to know your limit. Aside from assets and debts, take into the account your taxes, which may be higher or lower depending on your situation in retirement.


Of course, mind your health! How would enjoy your retirement if you are not healthy? Consider health insurance and the payment scheme for this insurance. Should you wish to retire early, check if you still have the option to still use employer-provided health insurance for you and your spouse, or if you need to secure a private insurance.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Since we are talking about healthcare, might as well look into long-term care insurance in the event you or your spouse needs a specialized assistance. Consider policies with daily activities, adult day care, visiting home nurse, assisted living service, and nursing care. It is best to find a policy which covers both spouses to get best rates and avoid choosing which spouse will need care first. Some policies allow lump-sum payment, hence avoiding monthly or annual premiums.

Estate Documents

Procrastination is the number one enemy of estate planning. Just because you have a small estate or low net worth, you need not to employ estate planning. This matter is more complicated when you retire than when you are working. Some of the things that must be taken care of include power of attorney, healthcare surrogate, beneficiary updates, insurance and annuities, trusts, and living will. If you happen to have high net worth, you may turn to charitable trusts, generational trusts, or gifting techniques.

Pension Options with Employer

If you are still eligible for a company pension plan, get in touch with your administrator six months before retirement for payout options. Whether you opt for single or joint life payout, think about it carefully. For individuals who won't be receiving a pension, dwell on rollovers or other distribution options. For those who have company stock options, consult a financial professional to avoid paying huge amount of taxes when cashing out.

Life Insurance Needs

Marriage. New babies. Changing jobs. Schooling. Retirement. These significant life events change everything. Review your beneficiaries on life insurance policies, and obtain more or less policies. You may also apply for senior reduced rates, not necessarily for life insurance but for other policies. Whatever the situation is, review your life insurance needs.

Researching and planning for retirement is a long process to come up with knowledgeable decisions. One of the biggest decisions in your lifetime, this is not something you should take seriously. Proper planning and sensible decisions lead you to rewarding retirement.

So, are you ready to retire?