Let’s face it, we all have to-do lists in life, but have you got a retirement check list?  I have and maybe you should too. After all, we all want to make sure we have all the bases covered.

So here are the 21 things I’m doing before I retire and maybe you should too

  1. Complete an in-retirement budget plan

How much are you going to spend in retirement each month, each year and do you have any big expenditure items to factor in? This may be dramatically from what you spend now.

  1. Test out your in-retirement budget plan

Before you retire rest out you retirement budget plan. Can you survive on what you plan to live on? If not, maybe you need to go back to the drawing board.

  1. Expenditure control

As your income rises closer to retirement, try to keep your expenses at the same level as for most people, income will reduce when they retire.

  1. Reduce expenditure if you can

Take a real close look at your expenditure as you close in on retirement. Many suffer from what I call expenditure leakage. Money just gets spent and we don’t really know on what.

  1. Check, check and check again

Once you are retired it may be too late to make alterations, if you have make any errors in your income and expenditure calculations. Check and check again to make sure there are no surprises.

  1. Where will your income come from?

Be absolutely certain where your income will come from and what it will be. Be as accurate as you can be. And don’t forget to include the State Pension.

  1. Work out what you will be doing

Planning for retirement is not all about the money, it’s also important to decide what you are going to be doing and how you are going to spend your time. What holidays will you take and what hobbies will you pursue?

  1. How will it work out with your other half?

Retirement may not just be about you. How will you spend your time with your partner? Will they be retired as well or will they still be working?

  1. Make sure you have an emergency reserve account

It’s always important to have a bit of money kept in reserve for those unforeseen events and it’s just as important to make sure you have that in place for retirement as well. If you already have one, you might want to beef this up in retirement. Instead of 6-12 months income reserve, 18-24 months income reserve may be better.

  1. Consolidate your portfolio

Just before you retire may be the right time to pull all your portfolio together to make it easier to manage and withdrawal income and capital from.

  1. Take risk off the table

Risky investment’s is probably not where you want to be in retirement. Review how much risk you are taking and if it is making you feel uncomfortable, consider moving to more stable investments

  1. Make sure your income is sustainable

The new pension freedoms buy xanax legal pharmacy means we all have much easier access to pension money. Be careful that your income withdrawals are not too high and your income runs out before you run out of life.

  1. Get rid of debt

Ideally you want to be debt free in retirement. If that’s not possible repay the most expensive debt first and work on the risk as quick as you sensibly can.

  1. Decide where you are going to live

What’s the plan? Are you going to stay in the same house which you live in now, move to a different location altogether or are you going to downsize. If you are going to move, when would that be? At retirement or a few years later?

  1. Eliminate your mortgage or re-structure it

Most people want to be mortgage free in retirement and will work hard towards this. However if you are unable to entirely repay your mortgage, look at re-scheduling the loan to the best possible terms.

  1. Structure your income as tax efficiently as possible

Having more money to spend is most people’s objectives. Look at how your income will be taxed and see if you can be more tax efficient, so that you have the highest disposable income. This could be done simply transferring investments between husband and wife.

  1. Know how much your state pension will be and when you will get it

Download a State Pension Forecast form and send it off to the Department of Work & Pensions. They will write back to you usually within 6 weeks to tell you everything you need to know. Amazingly many people do not do this and do not know what they will receive until retirement is almost upon them.

  1. Sort out family financial issues

If you are currently helping support other family members financially whilst you are still working and earning, consider how your retirement may impact on how you can continue to support them.

  1. Life cover, do you need it

Many employers provide death in service life insurance, which will be lost when you retire. Consider if you still need cover and if so how much. If you still have a mortgage it may be prudent to make sure you have cover in place.

  1. Consider your Inheritance Tax position

Calculate your total wealth and whether your estate is likely to have to pay Inheritance Tax. It is far better to start planning for this sooner rather than later. Prudent Inheritance tax planning takes time to be effective. If you can, include your family in the decisions you make.

  1. Are you ready for this?

Retirement marks a big change in life for everyone. Be sure you are ready for this new and exciting phase of your life. After all the last thing that you want to happen is to have to go back to work, because you did not have enough income to do the things you want to do.


This article does not provide specific advice and you should always seek professional advice from a qualified adviser before making any decisions.

Contact Martin Dodd on 01902 742221 or email him at martin.dodd@miadvice.co.uk if you would like talk about money issues.

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