Freedom Friday: More Advice in 2018 for the Nearly Retired

Four colored price stickers on the worn wooden backgroundIn the Market Watch article, 9 New Year’s Resolutions for the Nearly Retired, author Alessandra Malito suggests that if you are planning to retire in 2018, there are some important resolutions you should make now:

Get the important documents settled. Even at your healthiest, or when you’re struggling to save money, wills and other life documents, such as a power of attorney, are important, especially if you want your wishes to be followed. ‘Don’t leave your family with difficult decisions and scrambling to piece together your finances,’ said James White, a financial adviser and founder of J.H. White Financial in Pottstown, Penn. Know who you want to make the medical decisions, who should be executor of your estate and how to divide your assets. And, though it seems morbid, write out a safely stored document with all the important information you know that your family may need, such as all financial accounts, passwords to social media and other websites and even family recipes they may want, to keep your family’s legacy alive.

Declutter. Getting rid of possessions can be a tedious process, but it frees up space in your home — and could do the same in your mind. ‘By simplifying your life early in retirement, you’re not only freeing up space in your home, but you’re able to take your time to examine what’s most meaningful to you and release anything that no longer serves you,’ said Penny Gordon, senior vice president and private wealth adviser at Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust in East Berlin, Penn. Having a clean slate is just as important as getting your financial house in order, she said (and it could make downsizing homes in the future easier, too). The items that no longer mean much to you may mean a great deal to a family member, friend or charity organization, Gordon added. Some may want to follow Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering, where she puts everything of one category (such as clothes, books or linens) on the floor and picks them up one by one to see which “spark joy” and which don’t. When something is no longer important, you’re supposed to thank the item for its time and find a new place for it (outside of your life).

Know your benefits. Educate yourself on what your company gives you in retirement, including how your retirement accounts are invested and if you get any health benefits. About a quarter of employers who provide health insurance also offer some sort of financial help with medical needs (though that share of employers used to be a lot higher — 60% in the 1980s). Along with what employers offer, it’s important to know what the government will give you. Social Security benefit checks are expected to shrink in a few decades, because there are more people currently retiring than there are people entering the workforce. If you haven’t already, create an account with the Social Security Administration at My Social Security to ensure work history and personal information is current, view Social Security benefit statements or see what you should expect to receive in the future.”

Read more at 9 New Year’s Resolutions for the Nearly Retired.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

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