Financial Planning

To-dos before retiring

June 27, 2022


To-dos before retiring

Retirement is a time to relax, enjoy your hobbies, and spend more time with family. However, when you retire it's important to have a plan in place so that all of your money goes into the right places and is spent wisely.

Define your retirement goals.

First, it's important to make sure you have a clear vision of what retirement will look like. Before you can start saving and investing, you need to know what kind of life you want to live in retirement. This is where goals come into play: they're the compass that keeps us on track as we navigate our way through life.

Think about what kind of lifestyle will make you happy—what hobbies do you enjoy? Do you want to travel or spend more time outdoors? Are there activities that bring meaning and fulfillment into your life?

Estimate your savings, income, and expenses.

Next, you should create a plan. It's important to know what you want out of life, and when you want it - having a plan to prepare for retirement is crucial to having a happy one. Determine how much money you'll need during your retirement so that you can create an actionable budget based on those needs.

Make sure you consider all savings and investments, as well as all of your expenses and debt.

To estimate your expenses, you’ll need to know what they are today. Estimate how much you spend on the following categories:

  • Housing costs (rent or mortgage)
  • Utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer)
  • Home maintenance (such as yard work and home repairs)
  • Food
  • Transportation costs (car payments and insurance)

You can use a retirement calculator to help you estimate these amounts. For example, if you currently pay $1,200 per month for housing costs, multiply that by 12 months to get an annual amount of $14,400. Add this amount along with other fixed costs such as transportation ($2,000), food ($700), utilities ($600), home maintenance ($300), and any other necessary household items (clothing). The total is $20,500 per year in fixed expenses before factoring in any income from employment or investments.

Evaluate your credit score.

You should check your credit score because it’s an important part of understanding your financial standing. Your credit score tells lenders how likely you are to pay back a loan and helps them decide whether or not to give you credit. A good credit score can open doors for job opportunities, housing, and utilities. A bad one could cost you time and money.

A good rule of thumb is that if your initial credit score is below 700, there’s room for improvement! You can do this by paying off outstanding debts and making consistent payments on time (this helps raise the percentage of available funds being used in monthly payments). If those changes aren't enough, then consider refinancing your home or car loans with better terms than before so that they become more manageable.

Make sure your beneficiaries are updated.

You also want to update your beneficiaries. If you haven’t updated your will in a while, this is a good time to do so as well. You should go over the plan for your estate with an attorney if you haven’t done so in five years or longer.

If you have joint accounts with a spouse or other individual, it’s important that the account names are up-to-date as well. If one party dies without having changed the name on their account and there isn't any paperwork showing their wishes, it can lead to confusion when trying to determine who gets what from the bank in probate court proceedings after death.

Check your investments.

A big part of retirement planning is reviewing your current financial situation. This includes checking if you have the right mix of investments, how well they're performing, and if there are any areas where you can make improvements that would help stabilize or increase your retirement savings. If you have a financial advisor, see if they can review all of your accounts and investment portfolios. If not—or even if so—you should also consider looking into using a financial calculator or retirement calculator to get an idea of where things stand before making any major changes. A few other things to review:

  • Check your investments for fees. There are plenty of low-cost index funds out there, but depending on your situation, they might not be the best option.
  • Check your investments for performance. If you have a highly diversified portfolio that includes both stocks and bonds, you may want to consider adding an international allocation as well.
  • Check your investments for liquidity. If you’re thinking about taking out a loan against some of these assets (like in a 401(k) loan), make sure that there is enough liquidity in those assets to support them without selling off too much at once or paying an early withdrawal penalty from your retirement account!

Go over Social Security benefits.

If you're eligible for Social Security, it's important to know your options. You may be able to get a higher monthly benefit if you wait until age 70 to claim your benefits. If for some reason you are not able to work until the age of 65, this is going to be very important for your family's financial security.

You can apply for Social Security when you reach 62 years old (or younger), but if so, then there will be a reduction in benefits based on what year of service was earned by the worker before reaching full retirement age (FRA - which is 66). This reduction amount increases with each year that someone claims early benefits as follows: 6% at age 62 and reduces by 2% every two months thereafter up until one month prior to FRA; then it stays at 7/12ths or 50% of their full benefit amount after they reach FRA.

Consider if you still have a mortgage.

It's important to consider whether or not you have a mortgage. If you do, think long and hard about the costs associated with paying off a mortgage at retirement. If you don't have one, consider if it would be worth getting one now so that if rates rise in the future, your home will be paid off and won't need to incur additional expenses every month as an investment property.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Refinance Your Mortgage To A Lower Rate - Interest rates change frequently and often dramatically over time. If yours is high compared with current market rates—or even just higher than ones advertised by lenders—you could save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan by refinancing into something more affordable now (or later). It's also important to check into whether any prepayment penalty applies; many mortgages carry penalties on early repayment that reduce overall savings. However, there are plenty of cases when refinancing makes sense anyway because you get better terms than what was available when first taking out the loan or because existing homeownership costs outweigh potential savings from paying down principal faster (e.g., because the original loan had low-interest rates). If this happens and no prepayment penalties apply, then paying down principal sooner becomes attractive again after factoring in these new considerations!
  • Pay Off Your Mortgage Early Or Save More To Do So – Saving money while paying down debt can be done two different ways: making extra payments yourself each month or taking advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts like 401(k)s before transferring them into IRAs upon retiring/leaving a job so there’s less money left over for monthly payments once retired versus continuing working full time longer until fully retired age 65+ years old due to fear about what might happen if markets crash again with no safety net left behind anymore since already sold everything off last time around before getting wiped out financially ourselves back then too!

Organize paperwork.

Make a list of all the important documents you need, and keep it in a safe place. It's a good idea to also keep a copy of this list elsewhere, in case your primary location is inaccessible. If you have children or other family members that you'd like to leave your estate to, consider giving them copies of these documents as well.


Retirement is a big milestone in anyone’s life. It marks the end of your working years and gives you the chance to enjoy your time with family and friends, pursue hobbies or just relax. It can also be a scary time for those who are unprepared for what lies ahead. Luckily, there are plenty of things that you can do now to make sure that your retirement years are full of joy instead of worrying about money or health care costs.

-The NestedFunds Team

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