Retirement planning

Retirement: will this be the path to our golden years? The short answer: depends on many factors. Retirement may be the time of life when we are finally freed up from a daily routine that was scheduled for us by our employers and our families. Or, retirement may be a time when we become isolated from friends and colleagues and our world starts to shrink.

Good health is one predictor of retirement satisfaction. Maybe we have good genes. Maybe we have practiced prevention by making healthy living choices. Perhaps we simply have been some lucky ducks! Financial well-being is another predictor of how contented we will be when we retire.retirement quote

If we are healthy and wealthy (or at least financially secure), are we also wise?

We plan for college, career, marriage, a family, a vacation, a promotion and we definitely need to plan for retirement. We baby boomers must educate ourselves about the 65+ years, sometimes referred to as our “third act” of life. Remember pop quizzes from high school days? If we studied like we were instructed, we breezed through the quiz. If we counted on luck to get us through, sometimes we passed but sometimes we failed.

Here are three topics that we will be tested on as we approach our 65th birthdays. Please study. Don’t fail. It’s your life.

Social Security: check your annual statement online. Know your options at age 62, 65+ (depending on your date of birth), 70.5. Widowed? Divorced?

Medicare: know before you go (to sign up for benefits). Review supplemental coverage options.

Essential legal documents we all need: will or trust, general power of attorney, living will, power of attorney for health care, HIPAA waiver. An estate planning attorney is the go-to expert. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Existing documents should be reviewed periodically.