I’m coming up on my 41st birthday in a few weeks and have been talking a lot with my husband about retirement. Our children will all be adults in four years, at that time we’ll transition into empty nesters, then one day retire and do more travelling. My thoughts on 5 things every retiree should have in place before their last day is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with VSP® Individual Vision Plans.
My husband and I both left our jobs over a decade ago and now make a living working for ourselves. In essence, I wake up everyday feeling like a retiree, because entrepreneurship has given me the financial and time freedom I didn’t have with a job. Our retirement talks have been less about finances and more around how we will spend our time day-to-day. Our biggest goal is to do more conscious and meaningful travel, but in order to do that, we had to make sure we had our retirement plans in order.
About two decades ago, we put a solid financial roadmap in place that has allowed us to strategically plan for our retirement and prepare us for that phase of life. That strategy has given us peace of mind and clear vision about our future and how we want to spend our retirement years.
Today I’ll share five tips on how to prepare for this new stage in life. My tips and this post is written in partnership with VSP Individual Vision Plans.
1 – A strategy for eliminating debt
The very first thing I recommend no matter what age you are is to eliminate debt as fast as you can. Carrying debt in retirement is one of the worst things you can do. Retirement typically affects our income earning potential and transitions us on a fixed income. Trying to budget for debt when your income may be less than what you made during your working years will put more stress on you than necessary. The only debt I carry right now is a mortgage which I am making extra payments on. When I retire, I don’t want to pay anything consistently, but my monthly bills.
2 – A budget
A budget is simply an instruction guide for your money. It’s a written out plan to tell your money where to go each month. Writing and sticking with a budget seems to be the hardest habit for a lot of people to create, so starting early is best. The sooner you get in the habit of giving your money instructions, the more disciplined you’ll be in your retirement years. I’ve seen people go into retirement with the same spending habits they had when they worked. They’d put stuff on their credit card and worry about it later. Well, that adds up and before you know it you’re back in debt. A budget will help you see how much you have to spend on necessities and fun stuff without going overboard.
3 – An income source
Before you retire, you’ll need to know how you’ll continue to support yourself. Do you have a 401K? Will you get social security? If so, how much do you expect to draw each month? Will you continue to work during your retirement years? This is something you need to know and have mapped out before your last day at work. I plan on working during retirement because I enjoy what I do. It’s more than a job and I get so much gratification helping other entrepreneurs launch digital businesses. How about you?
4 – Insurance (life, health, vision, long-term care)
As I’m getting older, I’m starting to see the need for insurance and feel like I’m actually using the services I pay for more. It’s a fact that our bodies age and we need to make sure we have the services in place to meet our needs. The four must-have insurance coverages to have in place before retiring are life, health, vision and long-term care.
With most jobs, your health and vision insurance coverage will either end or become more expensive after retirement so you’ll need to know your options. Quality vision care is important for everyone (whether or not you need vision correction), but if you’re like me, vision coverage is important. I can’t see long distances without my glasses and I don’t think my vision is going to get any better as I age. Therefore, having vision coverage is high on my priority list.
I’ve carried independent coverage ever since I became self-employed so I can tell you not to worry, your vision coverage doesn’t have to retire just because you do. A lot of people who transition from on-the-job health coverage to Medicare, assume they’re covered, but Traditional Medicare doesn’t include routine eye exams.
If you find yourself without vision coverage, you can search for coverage through VSP Individual Vision Plans and find a plan that will allow you to keep your current doctor and similar benefits you enjoyed through an employer-sponsored plan. They have affordable Individual Vision Plans for as low as $17 a month, which is very budget friendly. The plans include annual eye exams, prescription lenses with covered lens enhancements like progressives, a generous allowance for brand name frames and/or contacts and access to the nation’s largest network of independent doctors to choose from. VSP Individual Vision Plans give you control of your vision care, lets you choose the coverage you want, where and when you want it. Visit GetVSPDirect.com or call 877.988.4746 to speak to a customer care representative to learn more and enroll.
5 – An estate plan or written will
In a nutshell, an estate plan or a will are your wishes for your assets after your death. This is the final piece to retiring responsibly. Both of these tools allow you to plan ahead for taxes, fees, expenses and legal issues that can come along with transferring your assets after your death. Most people will only need a will, but sitting down with a financial planner before retiring is key to determining what’s right for you.
With these things in place I can confidently say I’m looking forward to my full retirement with confidence. I will enter it prepared and with more time to do the things I love with the people who matter to me.
Here’s a quick video recapping the 5 things every retiree should have in place before their last day at work. Watch and share.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of VSP Individual Plans.