A Helpful Checklist for Women Approaching Retirement
- Estimate the annual income you’ll need in retirement. Be sure to include the cost of individual medical insurance that you’ll have to pay until you can use Medicare at age 65. (You can keep your employer’s insurance for 18 months after you retire, but you’ll be responsible for the entire cost.)
- Determine the sources of your retirement income, including Social Security, retirement savings, other investments, and profits from selling your home if you downsize.
- Check whether you can afford to wait to collect Social Security benefits until you’re at least full retirement age. Taking Social Security at 62 will reduce your lifetime benefits. For those born from 1943 to 1954, full retirement age is 66, and collecting at age 62 will reduce lifetime benefits by 25%. For those born after 1954, full retirement age phases up to age 67, and retiring at age 62 will reduce benefits by 30%.
- If you’re concerned that you’re not on track to reach your income goals, take advantage of catch-up contributions you can make to a 401(k) or 403(b) starting at age 50.
- Even if you don’t need to make catch-up contributions, keep putting as much as you can into your retirement savings plan.
- If you’re married or have a partner, make sure you have enough life insurance.
- If you’re confident the principal in your retirement plan will provide a sufficient income stream at retirement, you can begin to move some of your savings into lower risk investments.
- Investigate long-term care insurance to protect your retirement savings from being depleted in the event you need in-home, assisted-living, or nursing home care.