What Should You Be Thinking About When It Comes to Retirement?
February 24, 2022 |Lawrence L. McCooey
As you prepare for retirement, there are several matters that need to be addressed. Since I’m approaching retirement myself, I’ve realized there are several areas that need attention—and most of them will need to be readdressed throughout the retirement years.
One big topic is finances. As you approach retirement, in addition to accumulating for the time when de-cumulation begins, you’ll need to understand how Social Security works—when to start drawing, the tax implications, and other factors. You will also need to decide when to apply for Medicare and what options to choose, and how to handle long-term care if needed. Another consideration is how to draw down your assets and how to structure your investments accordingly. You should develop a retirement budget, and you may want to try living on that budget before the time comes to make sure it’s sufficient.
If you’re like most people, getting some professional help with all these things is a must because the issues are wide-ranging and complex. Certified Public Accountants, financial planners, and tax professionals are all good resources. It’s also very important to have up-to-date legal documents in place, like a will, advance directives, and powers of attorney. Enlisting a good attorney will be valuable as you get all the necessary documents in order.
With all the quantitative and technical aspects of retirement, it’s also important to remember the qualitative aspects. What will you retire to? Are you retiring or rewiring?
At Orchard Alliance, our gift and estate design consultants can also help you design your estate from a biblical perspective at no cost to you. Having a solid estate design in place can not only ensure your will or trust is properly planned, but it can also help achieve your charitable goals by utilizing tools like charitable gift annuities or donor advised funds as components of your plan.
With all the quantitative and technical aspects of retirement, it’s also important to remember the qualitative aspects. What will you retire to? Are you retiring or rewiring? Keith Davis, my friend and the National Office chaplain, recently challenged me to prayerfully consider my purpose, plan, and place in retirement. This is a tall order and one I am reflecting on daily as retirement approaches.
Preparing for retirement is a complex process, but despite so many unknowns, it is a joy to know that God is faithful to care for us and our families for all our days as we trust in Him and follow His direction. May you be blessed as your journey unfolds.