1. Get an estimate of your social security benefits.
You can do this by going online to www.socialsecurity.gov and creating an account. Once your account is established, download a copy of your estimated benefits. Make sure you save your pass word. If you misplace it, you will have to jump through a few hoops to get back into your account.
To get full benefits, today’s retirement age is 66. However, you can retire at any time between the ages of 62 and 66. Your benefits are adjusted based upon when you do. That’s why it’s important to get an estimate of just what you might expect to receive.
2. Look at a recent pay statement to determine how much you are paying for insurance.
Take a look at a recent pay statement to find out how much you’re paying for insurance. This is important because if you retire before you are eligible for Medicare, you will need to pay for medical insurance. Or, visit your human resources office and ask them what insurance benefits you would be entitled to if you retire before age 65. There may be several options including COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) and picking up insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Find out exactly how much you’ve accumulated in your company’s retirement plan. This money will serve as additional income; add it to your estimated income from Social Security. This will give you a realistic picture of how much you’ll be bringing in.
4.Create a budget based upon the projected retirement income.
Create a budget, a realistic budget, based on what you think it will cost you to live once you retire. Many things will change. Expenses are lessened in relation to work. That means less money spent on gas, clothing, and eating lunches out. On the other hand, medical expenses might be more. You will also need money for travel, hobbies, or whatever it is you plan to do. So — create a budget based upon how you want to live but keep in mind that your income will be lessened.
You can start with someone in the Human Resources office where you work or meet with a certified financial consultant. There will be many in your local community. Try your credit union or ask someone you know for a referral. Whoever holds the account for your retirement monies probably has someone that can assist you as you begin this data collection process. Right now, you’re just thinking about it. You’re just gathering information. The good thing is that once you have all the data, then you can decide what to do based upon knowledge and not based upon guess work.
These five steps should be a part of your “thinking” phase. We’ll continue to explore the process. As I learn more, I’ll share it.
I’m Darcy Jones, my retirement expert, and I don’t want to work until I’m 75. How about you? When do you want to retire? Tell me in the comment section below. Then, subscribe by putting your email address in the box you’ll find on the sidebar to the right and click submit. If you found this content useful or think it could benefit someone you know, share the link and please, “like” me on Facebook.
I’m thinking about retirement and every dime counts.