4 Guidepost People You Need to See as You Approach 65
The path to retirement is often difficult terrain, a rocky mountain path rather than a paved sidewalk. There are lots of ways to get lost in the forest of information coming in your mailbox, your email, and on the web.
Because, as you approach 65, it seems everyone is vying for your attention and for your pocketbook. But in the chaos of retirement planning, you don’t need more people screaming at you. What you need is guidance—something (or, in reality, someone) to give you a basic sense of direction.
That is why I recommend seeing these four people. Each one will give you the little pieces of information you need to make the retirement transition. These individuals will serve as guideposts along your journey to your desired destination of a stable, carefree retirement.
Social Security Representative
Guidepost number one is a Social Security representative. This person will provide you with one vital document: your Social Security statement. This will detail how much money you can expect in your monthly benefit check.
This information will help you approach important Social Security questions such as
- Should I take Social Security now or later?
- How do I maximize my benefit?
- How does my Social Security benefit fit into my retirement income plan as a whole?
Needless to say, it is a valuable piece of paper, which is why a Social Security representative is a valuable guidepost.
Employer and/ or Human Resource Department Employee
As you know, many employers offer benefits such as a pension or a 401(k). Some even offer health insurance benefits to their retirees. It all depends on the size and generosity of your employer. Therefore, it is necessary to meet with your boss or a human resource employee and just ask, quite simply, “What are my benefits? What do I have to work with?” Another important question to ask is how the benefits will interact with Medicare. For example, in the case of health insurance, who pays first—the employer or Medicare?
What are your medications? What conditions are those medications treating? What about your diagnoses? You are going to want to get this information from your doctor in a list or other tangible format. You might very well need it when it comes to the Medicare planning process, especially when shopping a Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
A Retirement Advisor/ Planner
After the three other people have given you their input, it is time to bring all the pieces to a retirement advisor. A good advisor will assemble them all to create an overall retirement plan that is personalized to your unique needs and goals. Want to travel? They will help you figure out how it fits into your budget. Concerned about your 401(k)? They can help you decide whether it is a good idea to roll it over or leave it where it is. Regardless of the question or financial concern, they will take the time to make sure you understand your options and make informed decisions.
Click here for advice on how to find a good retirement planner.
As a final note, I would recommend seeing your friends and family, especially those who are hiking up this difficult mountain trail to retirement with you. You can share tips, warn each other about possible pitfalls, reminisce about old times, as well as look forward to memories yet to be made. Nothing makes a difficult journey more bearable than knowing you are not traveling it alone.
Looking for a retirement advisor ready to help you transition from work to play? Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for personal help at no cost to you!