Key Decisions to Make as You Prepare for and Enter Retirement


As you get older, your thoughts start to shift from your career to your upcoming retirement. Instead of coming up with ways to climb the corporate ladder you start dreaming of where you might live and what you might be able to do if you don’t have to go to work every day. After 40 years or so of having our nose to the grindstone, we now find that we could be free to follow our heart’s desire. It’s a monumental change in perspective.

While your upcoming retirement might seem like a time when you can put planning aside and just take a spur of the moment approach, in reality there are important issues to consider as you move from working to your more carefree years. The decisions you make will make a big difference in your quality of life and will help determine how much money you’ll need to live out your years comfortably.

1What Will You Do With Your Days?

When you finally leave the work world, the change can feel incredibly abrupt and jarring. Instead of a work schedule that occupies your weekdays from 9 to 5, you suddenly find yourself with few required tasks to do and extended blocks of free time. Furthermore, the social interactions that you got at work and the meetings that filled your days are gone. While your newfound free time may be great, you may also feel a deep sense of emptiness.

It helps if you actively prepare for your transition to retirement. Imagine your most beautiful dreams, and see life as a blank canvas where you can create any world you would like. Perhaps you had dreams from younger years that you postponed, and pursuits you would like to pick up again. Some soon-to-be retirees have found that working with a retirement life coach can be a wonderful way to fine tune and chart their upcoming path.

2Do Your Research on Medicare and Evaluate Your Options

Many of us are used to getting our health insurance from our employer, and choosing from the limited plan options they provide. As a senior, though, you are eligible for Medicare coverage when you turn 65. While there is a basic coverage that will be applied automatically, you’ll find that in most cases the default choice is not necessarily the best option.

As you approach Medicare age, you’ll want to spend a good bit of time doing research into the complex coverage choices. It’s also a really good idea to talk to a medicare consultant who can provide information on what your options are. They’ll be able to educate you and guide you through the Medicare maze.

3Where Will You Live?

Often when people reach retirement age, they also find that they are facing an empty nest situation at home. If you had children, it’s likely that they are grown and are off starting new lives of their own. The large family home that was perfect for past years is suddenly way too big for your current needs.

It’s important to take time to look at how you might live, and where. Different states tax Social Security and pension benefits in different ways, so that’s an important consideration. You could also choose to sell your existing home and cash in on the appreciation in value. With that money you might be able to pay cash for a smaller house in a beautiful, but less pricey, area.

As you near retirement age, you should sort through important options related to how you’ll spend your time and how you’ll live in your upcoming years. You’ll also want to evaluate different choices related to your health care insurance coverage.