Retirement Planning Checklists Aid Workers at Many Stages



Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 20, 2014 – A study by Fidelity Investments found that 57 percent of retirees wish they had done more retirement planning before leaving the workplace. As retirement approaches, a checklist to be completed at key stages can help ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.

“Retirement represents an immense change to a person’s lifestyle and financial situation,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, which has offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. “Having an actionable plan can make that transition easier.” Retirement savings should start as early in one’s career as possible. 

Specific planning for retirement should start about five years before retiring. At this point, a checklist should take stock of the individual’s current lifestyle and finances, and what he or she would like to achieve in retirement. Considerations include setting a target retirement date, assessing the risks associated with retirement, and deciding what type of lifestyle one would like to achieve after retirement.

A couple of years away from retirement, a person should start gathering more detailed information. This is a great time to start learning about the process of transitioning into retirement, including budgeting and withdrawal strategies. Future healthcare and long-term care needs should also be considered at this stage.

When retirement is a year away, one should put the retirement plan into action. It is important to consolidate as many accounts as possible and automate as many financial accounts as possible during this time. A person should also work with the Social Security Administration and the employer to arrange for the beginning of retirement. At this time, the individual should decide which accounts to withdraw from first and should arrange for post-retirement healthcare.