By Tom Sponsel, CPA/ABV, CFF
Welcome to Part 2 of a multipart series on Retirement: Planning, Executing and Enjoying!
In Part 1, we talked about spending and how to make sure you have enough retirement funds as well as how to plan to “control” your spending both before you retire (so you have adequate savings) and after retirement, when the paychecks stop! Now, we’re going to explore two other critical factors: (1) risk management and (2) how to plan to have fun in retired life.
Given the fact that most people retire around age 65 (mainly due to that being the minimum age to qualify for Medicare), healthcare is a key concern in retirement. For many people, Medicare is their primary form of healthcare insurance. More than likely, upon retirement you will need prescriptions or procedures not covered by basic Medicare. You will also need to consider securing Medicare supplement insurance, which can be very confusing with all the options and coverage available. If you were proactive in your pre-retirement planning, you may have built up funds in a health savings account, which are very helpful to pay medical costs.
Aging comes with risks, and insurance is about transferring the cost of those risks to a third party. There is a vast ocean of options out there; don’t try to navigate them on your own. Talk to a specialist well versed in Social Security and Medicare benefits and the various private supplemental plans available to provide the health insurance coverage you will require.
You may also want to consider life insurance (to maintain, discontinue or secure coverage), which can help with such issues as remaining debts in your estate, support a loving spouse upon your death or funds to provide for your last settlement upon death. Life insurance needs are facts and circumstances specific, so you should analyze with an independent professional.
Long-term care insurance is another issue, as you may need to seek rehab, physical therapy, assisted living, etc. Sit down with a trusted financial advisor to analyze Medicare and Social Security benefits that will cover these needs and allow you to protect assets remaining in your estate.
After all of this is done, you get to do the fun part — making your Bucket List.
Write down all of the things you felt like you never had the time or money to do while you were working. Whether you want to spend more time with your grandkids or visit the Egyptian Pyramids like Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in the movie The Bucket List, enjoying more out of life is what retirement is all about!
Remember that retirement and what you do in retirement is a very personal decision process for you and your spouse. Do not allow yourself to be to be swayed by the generalizations that some of your friends may mandate on you in your retirement! Anything is open to you, and you should make the most of your retirement phase of life. For many it is only the beginning of a new chapter in life! May you have many new chapters yet to write!