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The Pre-Retirement Soul Search: Four Questions To Ask Yourself Now


The scariest part about retirement is not the financial part; it is that you have to address the questions of what the most important things in your life really are.  It is easy to avoid thinking about these things while you are working.  Even if you have been consistently saving for retirement, even the most conscientious people tend to focus on the next short-term financial goal instead of looking at the big picture.  Six-month emergency fund?  Check.  Zero credit card debt?  Check.  Mortgage paid off?  Check.  Enough money saved for your children’s college education that they don’t have to borrow?  Check, if you are sufficiently privileged and if your children considered cost as a factor in setting their higher education plans.  When you are planning for retirement, it is not possible to know how much money you will need unless you have thought about what your expenses will be.  Therefore, the best time to start discussions with a Central Florida estate planning lawyer is years before your retirement party.

Four Questions and No One-Size Fits All Answers

If you are old enough to have met any of the financial goals listed above, and if you are old enough for younger members of your family to comment on how old you are, then it is not too early to start thinking about these retirement questions and how they pertain to your vision of a happy retirement:

  • When to retire – The days when all salaried employees retired are long gone; even salaried jobs themselves are becoming rare. Estate planning starts once you decide at what age you want to stop dedicating 40 hours or more per week to earning money.
  • Where to retire – Do you want to stay in your paid off house, where the only expenses will be maintenance and homeowners’ association fees? Do you want to sell your house and move to a smaller one?  (This costs more than it appears to cost, so don’t be surprised if the amount of cash you get from the sale to add to your golden years fun fund is less than you were hoping.)  Do you plan to maintain a summer residence outside Florida?  All of these options will affect your retirement budget.
  • What to do during retirement – Some people have expensive retirement hobbies, like owning a yacht or traveling to New York several times per year to see Broadway shows. Others consider being frugal fun in itself.  Plan your retirement around your financial values and your spouse’s, not around someone else’s vision of happiness.
  • How do deal with unexpected health issues – It is only human to plan for the future as though you will always be healthy, but you can never have too many safeguards in place for what will happen if you suffer an illness that requires costly care. Yes, you will be eligible for Medicare, but that does not mean that you will not have medical expenses. Long-term care insurance and health savings plans are an important part of retirement planning, even for people for whom the pursuit of wellness is a big part of their identity.

Contact Us Today for Help

Your Clearwater estate planning lawyer can help you ponder the big questions that will guide your financial plans for retirement.  Contact William Rambaum for help with your case.



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