What to Do When Retirement Sneaks Up on You

Retirement can creep up on you. Suddenly you’re scrambling to get everything done. Even if you have saved enough money, there are other details that need to be attended to before you can retire comfortably.

Here are some tips to keep you on track:

Give yourself time
Even if your retirement is hastier than you’d planned, some things simply take time, so identify those and plan accordingly.

For instance, to sign up for Medicare, part B takes a minimum of five weeks for enrollment, and if you don’t sign up in time you could end up paying as much as $800 for a month of COBRA until Medicare kicks in.

Consider the intangibles
There are personal and family characteristics that contribute to or impede successful planning.

As to roles, note how the process works if it’s a single individual or a couple. If a couple, who’s in charge? Are there other family considerations—children, blended family, extended family responsibilities?

If a couple, do you communicate well? Is one person anxiety-prone? This can actually be converted into a performance-driver if recognized and harnessed.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and make the process work with what each person brings to it.

Get the right adviser
Get to know the values and style that a particular adviser offers, and see how well they mesh with your needs. Are your risk tolerances seriously different?

A good financial adviser is a third party that helps you make rational, practical decisions. Choosing a financial adviser that you and your spouse both relate to will liberate you to enjoy your retirement time in other ways.

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