Here's a retirement planning checklist to give you plenty to think about. Of course, all checklist items are estimated:
Job(PART-TIME OR FULL-TIME):$_________________
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME AFTER TAXES:$ _____________________
Take Action! Saving for retirement is of the highest priority--do not make it an afterthought.
Travel: $_______________(how many trips a year would you like to take)
Gifts: $_______(How many birthdays/anniv/holidays a yr)
Restaurants: $_______ (how often would you like to eat out)
Entertainment: (movies, theater)_____________
Prescriptions: $ ____________
Food supplements (vitamins): $___________
Support to children/grandchildren (birthdays, college fund): $________
Misc (phone/cable etc): $_____________
(most financial planners will have a detailed list of all items of daily living that you can use)
Retirement Housing--How to Choose
(My method is always to narrow down)
First, decide where you will live:
(pick one option) and add it to monthly costs:
How old will you be when your home is paid off________
OPTION #1: TOTAL MONTHLY COSTS WHEN YOU STAY IN YOUR HOME AT RETIREMENT (taxes,upkeep,mortgage,utilities etc):$___________
2. Option 2: If you move: (How much equity will you have in your home at retirement $_________)
Choose 3 states and compare living and housing costs/features of each:
Choose 3 communities from your preferred state and compare living and housing costs of each plus pros and cons:
activities in area
medical in area
activities in area
medical in area
activities in area
medical in area
Now take the preferred choice from above and apply the following:
(Contact a Realtor to find out how much new home you will qualify for.)
Equity in your home
is equity? Equity is the amount your home is worth (or what you get
for it when you sell) minus what is left on your mortgage--no mortgage?
Great! In that case, when you sell you will receive all equity--of
course minus your fees and closing costs.)
Costs to move to another state:$__________________
What type of home do you prefer/afford:
single family home $________
Assisted living apartment $___________
Continuing Care Community $___________
Choose one of each type and compare housing and living costs:
Single family home:
OPTION #2: TOTAL NEW HOME MONTHLY HOUSING COSTS:$_____________
Can you save here. How much can you save each month if activities are in the area, if shopping and restaurants are walkable, if entertainment you like is nearby etc. Is there a farmers market in the area. How close is medical, bookstores or library etc - you can save a lot by having things you do on a daily basis nearby the community. Y's and senior centers in the area are good too.
How much will it be in retirement? Check with your current health care provider and medicare (if over 65).
Current Monthly Health Insurance: $____________
After medicare kicks in:$___________
How far to doctor visits and expenses: $____________
TOTAL MONTHLY HEALTH INSURANCE/MEDICAL COSTS:$_____________
How many cars will you have in retirement? Some retirement communities have such good transportation options that some people give up their family car, but this is not for everyone. At some point you may have to give up driving for health reasons/aging. (will your insurance be lower or higher if you have only one car): $________
Auto Insurance (any discount after 55):$___________
Gas, oil, repairs: $____________
TOTAL MONTHLY AUTO COSTS:$_____________ TOTAL
Debts: $_________ (you may wish to not have
any consumer debt going into retirement) Pay off credit card
debt first and then pay a little extra on your mortgage if you have one each
month--even $30-50 a month extra helps.
Credit Card Balances:
Question: Can these be paid off by retirement. If not, then you must add them into your total monthly expenses. Remember, these are just estimates as you may have more or less credit card debt at retirement.
TOTAL MONTHLY DEBT PAYMENTS:$___________
MONTHLY INVESTMENT AND SAVINGS CONTRIBUTIONS $___________
Two websites about investments and savings: www.dolans.com www.irahelp.com Savings
Monthly Charitable Giving Contributions:$___________________
How much do you want to leave to your heirs
Do you have a will
Do you have a living trust
How much is your total net worth: $_________
Is there a possibility of receiving an inheritance.
Additional questions to explore
How will you make your money last
Will you need long term care insurance.
Monthly contribution for grandchild's education or helping adult children
TOTAL MONTHLY GIFTS TO ADULT CHILDREN/GRANDCHILDREN:$__________
Retirement Planning Checklist: Total Long-term Care Insurance Payment:$_______
Living Longer than Expected
Option #1: Will you live with your adult children
(Have you discussed this with your children)
Questions: Will it mean another move for you.
Where do your children live now. Where will they live in the future.
Will it be another costly move to relocate to where your children live. Many elderly move to where their children live. See multigenerational housing on this website.
Option #2: Will you go into assisted living.
How will you pay for assisted living or home care.
TOTAL MONTHLY EXTRA COST FOR ASSISTED LIVING/Home Care:$___________
Now add the totals from above:
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME:$__________
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES:$_____________
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO PLUS OR MINUS:$_____________
Some things you can do now to prepare:
YOUR NOTES ON THINGS TO TAKE ACTION ON NOW OR IN THE FUTURE:
We believe retirement can be better with the more income you have. Better to err on the plus side because you do not know what retirement will be like until you experience it.
You can cut back on expenses in retirement in many creative ways
but there are some things you will not want to cut back on or cannot cut back on. Some costs will get lower and some higher. Decide what
your highest priorities are.
Some people are more financially prepared and
better off than others for retirement and need estate planning advice. But even those with plenty of retirement
savings can see their money disappear as in the recent case of Ed McMahon whose home was in danger of foreclosure
in his retirement years after a long and lucrative career in television. How prepared you will be is a very
individual and personal thing.
I have made mistakes like everyone and most often when I don't
see the forest for the trees. Bottom Line: What will make you happy in
We hope this checklist helps to give you a better picture. No one knows the future but all we can do is plan for it as best we know how.
(We are not financial planners and this general checklist is not intended to take the place of advice from experts. Please do your own checking and consult with experts into how best to plan for retirement.
This is general information only which we hope can be helpful but is not intended as advice or even opinion.
This is not intended to be a complete checklist and is very general as you may have expenses that are not on this list.
This is a personal checklist from our own "been there done that" experience that you may or may not experience when you retire. Your own experience will be unique to you but this gives you some advance ideas. We hope it has been helpful in some way.)