Use This Annual Financial Review Checklist to Get to Retirement

Jan 29, 2024 2 min read

Being financially prepared for retirement requires careful planning, strategic investing and, ideally, a lifelong dedication to saving. In this checklist for retirement planning, we review everything you should know to ensure you’re on the path to a financially secure retirement.

Your Retirement Plan Checklist

Retirement planning is all about making decisions that will help you retire with financial stability. Learn what your annual financial review checklist should include.

Review Your Accounts 

Many retirees have multiple retirement accounts: some are taxable (such as a nonqualified account), some are tax-deferred (such as traditional IRAs) and some are tax-free (such as Roth IRAs). When determining your withdrawal strategy, it’s important to balance your sources of income so that you are taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) as required by law on qualified accounts such as IRAs, minimizing your tax liability and ensuring that you have enough to cover living expenses for the rest of your life. 

Update Your Estate Plan

When you experience a significant life event, your estate plan should reflect that. It’s a legal document of your wishes, so if a new family member enters the picture and you don’t add them to your estate plan, whatever your intentions were don’t matter. The written record of your wishes is what matters. 

Additionally, estate laws can differ based on your state and can change as time passes. Failing to keep your plan up to date can undo all the hard work you put into creating the document and can cost your loved ones time and money to sort it out. Be sure to review and update your estate planning documents regularly, especially when you experience a life change.   

Plan for Future Income and Expenses

You’ve likely already thought through how much money you’ll need to retire comfortably, but it’s good practice to review and update your expected monthly retirement income and expenses as the date draws nearer. Start with your employer-sponsored 401(k) or 401(b) retirement account, if applicable, and then consider any IRAs or other retirement investments you may own. Determine when you’ll begin collecting Social Security benefits and plan for that income as well. You may also have additional income from rental properties or a part-time job. Try to determine how much money each income source can provide monthly and use that as the foundation for your monthly budget. 

Finally, when it comes to expenses, keep in mind that healthcare will become even more important as you age. Make sure you have enough money and health insurance coverage to pay for medical expenses. 

Talk to a Professional

Planning for retirement is a complex process, and a lot can happen along the way. That’s why working with a financial advisor to create and regularly review a plan is so important. Together we can talk through your options to ensure you’re always working toward your goals. Reach out to a Farm Bureau agent who can help you understand how to protect your retirement savings and create a plan to get where you want to be.

We Can Help

Farm Bureau’s team of wealth management advisors are ready to help you meet your retirement goals. Contact a Farm Bureau advisor today.

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