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Did you know that an income and expense retirement checklist is considered vital? This is because, typically, there are no “do-overs” when it comes to your retirement. For example, it may be difficult to regain your present income after age 50 by switching employers or to then regain the value of your collapsed portfolio. 

Accordingly, it is important to begin planning for retirement as soon as possible regardless of your age. Once you have started planning, we encourage you to revisit your retirement checklist at least every year to make any necessary adjustments. This includes budgeting for a catastrophic change in your spouse’s or a child’s health condition giving rise to the cost of long-term care expenses.  

Presently, you may live on a fixed budget whereby your monthly expenses do not exceed your current income. It is advisable that you take your present budget and make it into a retirement budget by simply projecting the income that may decline and the expenses that could increase in the year you plan to retire. It is also important to budget for future projected expenses that you do not presently incur. 

How do you plan forward for this occurrence? At the top of your retirement checklist, you need to think about your budget. In addition to your regular monthly budget, let us share a few items you need on your retirement checklist as you consider your future retirement expenses.

  1. Tax Withholding. What will be your net annual retirement income and your annual net required minimum distribution from your IRA’s or other retirement income? It is important that you remember that 20% of your annual retirement income will be withheld for taxes by your plan administrator. Your experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine the withholding or required minimum distribution. You may also want to learn more in our report, Using Individual Retirement Accounts for Estate Planning.
  2. Long-Term Care Expenses. Unfortunately, the cost of nursing home or assisted-living expenses can potentially deplete all of your savings. Long-term care insurance can pay for and help eliminate this financial catastrophe. However, not all long-term insurance policies are alike. It is important that your attorney study the terms of this policy with you to insure that you and your spouse receive the best coverage for what you can afford. You can learn more about your insurance policies and how to best prepare for long-term care in our report, How to Set the Stage for Your Medicaid Eligibility. 
  3. Children’s Expenses During Your Retirement. Do your children reside in another state? If so, they may incur considerable travel and lodging expenses as they attend to your personal care needs on what could be many trips to your home. Likewise, do you intend for your children to expend their personal funds for the actual cost and for their families’ travel to you and your spouse’s burial and cremation services? It is important that your attorney advise you as to his or her experience as to these costs. Your attorney can also help you determine the best method for your escrowing these costs from your savings account that you have earmarked “In Trust For” or “Paid on Death” for your child’s out-of-pocket costs or reimbursement of these family expenses. 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers for you. If you have specific questions, do not wait to contact us. This only starts our discussion on how to prepare for retirement as a Baby Boomer. We encourage to take the time to review each of our critical guides with the information you need on this as well. Let us answer your questions about your unique retirement needs. 

If you would like more information on Elder Law, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, or the impact of new health care laws on your health care coverage, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.  

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy. By attending our workshop, you will also be entitle to more than $900 in valuable benefits, including your choice of books, DVDs and more! Call 800-964-4295 (24/7)