Column: Creating A Retirement Checklist

August 16, 2022

Carla Seely Bermuda October 2018 TC[Written by Carla Seely]

If you’re thinking about retiring, then chances are you’re thinking about what the next steps are in the road to retirement. More importantly, you may be wondering when you should realistically begin creating a solid plan for retirement.

For a lot of people, gearing up for retirement normally starts about five years ahead. With that in mind, here’s a helpful guide of key things you should consider as the gap between your working years and your retirement years closes.

Five Years to Retirement

  • a] Meet with your pension provider and be sure to discuss the following:
    • i. Review your current pension plan account holdings
    • ii. Where possible, consolidate any other pension plans into one account
    • iii. Discuss the current rules and regulations regarding access to your pension at retirement
    • iv. If needed, determine the benefits of making additional voluntary contributions
  • b] Review your bank account[s]. If you have multiple, determine if you really need them all.
  • c] Review your investment account[s]; review the asset allocations and make sure the investment allocations match your time horizon.
  • d] Review your insurance policies [i.e., life, home, car]. Do they reflect current values?
  • e] Update your will or visit a lawyer to have one created and filed.
  • f] Update your beneficiaries on anything that has a listed beneficiary [i.e., life insurance, pensions, etc.]
  • g] If you still owe anything – mortgage, car loan, credit cards, etc. – it’s time to pay those off.
  • h] Look at your cash flow. Can you decrease your expenses and increase your savings?
  • i] Determine where your retirement income is going to come from [e.g., pension, rent collection, social insurance, investments, etc.]

Two Years to Retirement

  • a] Review the risk allocation on your pension plan and start lowering your risk level
  • b] Compare retirement income vs. retirement expenses to ensure positive cash flow
  • c] Consolidate your bank accounts to make sure you’re streamlined
  • d] Start consolidating your investment accounts to ensure a clear investment strategy
  • e] If retiring overseas, make plans for your first initial trip to look at potential retirement locations
  • f] All debt should be paid off with no further intention of borrowing
  • g] Renovations to your house should be completed
  • h] Review your current cash flow to determine changes you will make at retirement
  • i] Determine options for long-term care needs

Six Months to Retirement

  • a] Request information on the various pension options upon retirement
  • b] Obtain information on individual health insurance from local providers
  • c] Request a copy of your Bermuda Social Insurance monthly benefits plan
  • d] Adjust any immediate insurance needs
  • e] Finalize annual or monthly retirement cash flow options
  • f] Finalize retirement budget for expenses
  • g] Review investment allocations for positive cash flow options
  • h] If retiring abroad make a decision on accommodations [i.e., renting vs. owning]
  • i] Inquire about long-term care, especially regarding the cost of treatment locally or abroad

Retirement Day

  • a] Create your retirement folder with all your financial and insurance information
  • b] Ensure you have a clear understanding of your retirement budget
  • c] Plan for your retirement trip
  • d] Celebrate with your family and friends to mark this next chapter
  • e] If moving abroad, start packing

With these things in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward creating a solid plan for retirement and well prepared to begin your next chapter. Happy retirement planning!

Note: this is a general guideline only and should not be the sole resource used when creating your retirement checklist.

- Carla Seely is the Chief Operating Officer at Freisenbruch, if you would like any further details please contact or call 441 297 8686

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