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Baby Boomers Money & Retirement Checklist


Baby boomers know it’s important to save money and have a retirement checklist. The youngest baby boomers turn 55 this year, which means retirement is in the offing—or already here—for everyone in the massive generation born between 1946 and 1964. But a secure retirement doesn’t happen automatically—you must plan for it.

Jumpstart your retirement plan by writing down your hopes and dreams, including when you’d like to retire, where you want to live, and what you plan to do with your time. Envisioning your ideal future will help you set financial goals and work toward them in the years leading up to retirement.

With your goals in mind, use this checklist to organize your retirement planning.

Baby Boomers Money & Retirement Checklist

Retirement planning starts with knowing where you are now, and how that compares to your goals.

Investments

  • Know how much money is currently in IRAs, 401ks and other investment and savings accounts
  • Calculate how much money expected in retirement, based on my current contribution levels
  • Expected Income in Retirement (without working)
  • Logged into Social Security’s website and estimate monthly Social Security income
  • Know how much pension income to expect to receive each month
  • Have an online calculator to figure how much money to withdraw from investments each month in retirement

Expenses

  • Know how much money to spend each month.
  • Estimate ways spending might be different in retirements, such as fewer commuting costs, lower health insurance premiums, a smaller home or more travel
  • Compare expected monthly expenses to expected monthly retirement income

Saving and Investing

Baby boomers understand the importance of money and a retirement checklist. No matter where you are in your retirement planning, the next several years are the prime time for boosting savings, getting out of debt, managing your expenses, and taking concrete steps to prepare for the future.

  • Take advantage of tax-advantaged accounts like 401ks and IRAs, and contribute the maximum allowable amount each year
  • Understand fees associated with each account
  • Money is invested in a mix of stocks and bonds that is appropriate for my age and risk tolerance
  • Don’t have more than 10-15 percent of the money invested in any one stock
  • Have an eligible high deductible health insurance plan, I am putting the maximum amount into my health savings account each year
  • If self-employed, set up a company or individual 401K and contribute the maximum
  • Keep at least six months of short-term savings in an online savings account that offers good interest rates
  • Do not have additional cash that could be invested

Income

  • Decide how much money is needed or wanted to earn from work after retirement age
  • Have a plan for earning additional income in retirement
  • Develop and maintain skills that help remain employable

Debts

  • Do not rack up new credit card debt
  • Pay off credit card balance(s) in full every month
  • Try to lower the balance and/or interest rate on existing credit card debt by calling the card issuer
  • Do not have a car payment
  • Do not have student loan payments for my own or my children’s education
  • If I have non-mortgage debts, I am paying them off as quickly as possible, starting with the accounts with the highest interest rates

Monthly Expenses

  • Use software to track monthly spending by category
  • Do not have unused subscriptions
  • Call the cable company and try to negotiate a lower rate
  • Shop around for a less expensive cell phone plan
  • Identify other expenses to reasonably reduce or eliminate before retirement age

Housing

  • Think about whether your current home is the best match for retirement
  • Know how much your home would sell for
  • Know the balance due on the mortgage, the monthly payment, the interest rate, and the amount of real estate taxes
  • I know what I spend on repairs, upkeep, and homeowners’ association fees
  • Investigate and compare the cost of other housing options
  • If I don’t plan to move, I have investigated refinancing for a lower interest rate

Long Term Care

  • Understand the potential cost of in-home care, assisted living facilities, or nursing home care in the community
    • This care is typically not covered by Medicare
  • Obtain quotes for long term care insurance and decide whether and when to buy a policy
  • Investigate moving to a senior community that guarantees continuing care
  • Sign a healthcare power of attorney and living will
  • Discuss wishes regarding long term care with the family

Health Insurance

Family Members

  • Think about the financial and emotional cost of supporting adult children and aging parents while trying to work and plan for retirement
  • Do not give money to adult children who can support themselves unless you’re sure to have enough money for retirement
  • Do not take on debt to educate children
  • Know how much you can afford to spend—both financially and emotionally– to help my aging parents

Relationships

  • Discuss money openly in your relationship
  • Agree on shared goals for retirement planning
  • My partner and I know each other’s net worth and credit scores
  • I have talked to my children about my finances in a way that is appropriate to our ages and stages of life

Other

  • If I am financially supporting children or a spouse, I have level term life insurance
  • Consult with an estate planning lawyer and have a will and/or trust and a durable general power of attorney
  • Meet with a financial planner to go over retirement goals. Choose someone who does not have a financial interest in selling you a product
  • File important papers (including computer passwords), and a loved one knows where it is located

Baby Boomers Money & Retirement Checklist

Lindsay Malzone

Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ. She has been working in the Medicare industry since 2017. She is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare. You can also find her over on our Medicare Channel on YouTube as well as contributing to our Medicare Community on Facebook.

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