Many people talk about what they’ll do during the dreamy days of retirement, but what isn’t always talked about are the steps you need to take in order to be ready for that stage of life. To help you prepare for retirement, here are six things you need to do.

Determine When You’ll Retire

Retirement is an exciting part of life many are eager to get to. The thing is: there’s no right way or time to do it. The timing that worked for your spouse, sibling, or friends may not be the same timing that works best for you. So, think about when the time will be for you to retire. Consider your current work, savings, lifestyle, life plans, and more.

Figure Out What You’ll Do

We couldn’t create this list without adding something fun! When you prepare to retire, think about what you want to do. The biggest question you’ll need to answer is how you want to spend your time when you retire.

After working hard for decades, you may want to relax for a bit. And you should take some time to do so. But keep in mind this will get old, fast. If you go from working a full-time job to the retirement lifestyle, you’ll have a 40-out window each week to fill. That’s a lot of time to fill! So think about activities you’ve been meaning to do, volunteer opportunities you might like, and new hobbies you want to try. This will keep you busy, happy, and enjoying retirement.

Decide When You’ll Claim Social Security Benefits

When you prepare to retire, this is one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your retirement finances.

The age at which you choose to claim your retirement benefits will have a direct impact on how much you’ll get each month. The earliest you can claim Social Security is 62, but you’ll be receiving between 70 and 99 percent of your benefit amount. If you wait past full retirement age (full retirement age is somewhere between 66 and 67, depending on what year you were born), then you’ll be eligible for delayed retirement credits. This increases your benefit for each month until you reach age 70. In most cases, it pays to put off claiming, but this is an individual decision, and you need to decide what will suit you best.

Evaluate Your Health Now

To get the most out of your retirement, you want to be as healthy as possible. So evaluating your health now and beginning some preventative health care can go a long way.

Schedule your checkups and preventative exams now, and at your appointments, work with your provider on a plan to maintain or improve your health. Make sure you’re eating healthy foods, you’re exercising, and getting enough sleep. And don’t forget about your mental health either – staying in close contact with family and friends can not only help you maintain your physical health but your mental health too.

Figure Out Your Health Coverage

When you retire, your healthcare coverage may become just a little more confusing. If you have health coverage while working for your employer, you may have retiree coverage after you retire. If you do, you’ll need to decide if you want to keep it or drop it. Keep in mind if you decide to drop it, you may not be able to get coverage back at a later date.

But what if you don’t have retiree insurance after you retire? Medicare is a great option, but you need to be 65 to sign up. If you’re retiring earlier than 65, you need to figure out what healthcare coverage you can get before signing up for Medicare. This can mean signing up for a whole new plan or getting short-term coverage to hold you over for a short while. Regardless – you’ll want to make sure you have a health plan in place, as you never know when your health could take a turn.

It sounds confusing, and that’s because getting the right health coverage certainly can be. If you need assistance with finding the right coverage for you when you retire, our team can help you figure out your options.

Make a Financial Plan

Health and activities are important to enjoying your retirement. But having a financial plan in place is important to maintain your health and activities. Life expectancy is also increasing, so your plan may need to last longer than you think.

To help you plan, figure out your monthly income and how much expenditures will be, including things like health and activities. If you’re finding the budget is a little tight, you may need to look for non-essential items you can cut from spending. Or you could think about getting a part-time job. Many retirees are finding themselves getting back into the workforce to keep themselves busy and make a little extra money, and this could be an option for you as well.

And make sure you don’t set your financial plans in stone. Things will change, that’s just part of life. So by keeping your plan fluid, you’ll be able to react to any changes that come along.

Jeffery Insurance is Here to Help

While you prepare to retire, you may discover you need some help figuring out your healthcare coverage. Whether you need help with your retiree coverage, you need short-term insurance to hold you over before Medicare, or you’re not sure what Medicare plan is right for you, Jeffery Insurance is here for you.

At Jeffery Insurance, we will help guide you through good decision-making and health plan options that will benefit you through your retirement years. We are based in Scottsdale but are happy to assist you no matter where you are in Arizona. We are Arizona’s health care resource!