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7 Smart Moves to Make Before You Retire

Plan your transition. For some people, retirement is just as stressful as working. Experts advise planning your retirement time at least five years before you actually retire, but you can do it in less time if you are focused and can make the big decisions like where you will live and how you will spend your time.

Plan when to take Social Security. This can take a little thought, especially for couples are both entitled to their own benefits. There are some big advantages to delaying Social Security benefits until age 70, but you need to weigh that against your own health situation and other factors.

Plan your health care. Navigating Medicare can be confusing for a lot of people, so it's best to start early. You'll want to enroll as soon as you are eligible, and the enrollment period begins three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after that date. You'll probably want to look into Medigap policies as well to cover expenses not already covered by Medicare.

Plan your retirement budget. You may be surprised to learn that your expenses are not significantly lower in retirement as you thought they might be, so you need to examine your current and future anticipated expenses to ensure your retirement income would cover them.

Plan to pay off debt. Carrying a lot of debt into retirement is never a good idea. Pay off as much debt as possible before you retire, including your mortgage if you can.

Plan for less investment risk. The last recession took quite a toll on many retirees' investment portfolios. Meet with your financial advisor about fine-tuning your investments to carry less risk into retirement.

Plan to update your estate plan. Retirement is a good opportunity for you to review your estate plan, including your will, advance health care directive and powers of attorney, as well as to review your beneficiary designations on insurance policies and retirement plans. You may also want to consider long-term care insurance to cover expenses not covered by Medicare.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0041.

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