You’ve spent decades planning for retirement, putting all of your ducks in a row, saving to ensure a steady income, and looking forward to this new season of life. But once you reach this pivotal milestone, the planning doesn’t end! There are a few key tasks to conquer once you are retired that can provide peace of mind and help you to fully enjoy your retirement years.

1. Have a Backup Plan
While no one wants to think about tragedy or unexpected circumstances, having a plan to deal with financial setbacks can alleviate some stress during a difficult time. A financial setback in retirement occurs when the financial head of the household passes away, leaving the surviving spouse with new financial responsibilities that may be too much to handle in the grieving period. Having a plan in place for this situation will walk your loved ones through the details and help them feel empowered to take on any financial duties.

Taking the time to document all the details is not a difficult task, but it will make a world of difference to those left behind. Here’s how to prepare for such a setback: 

  • Make a list of all accounts and bills that have recurring payments. Include details about when the payments are due and what the amounts should be.
  • Create a list of usernames and passwords for any financial accounts, such as investments, utility bills, credit cards, and subscriptions. This list should be updated frequently and filed with your other important documents. 
  • Communicate the intricacies of your household budget and make it easily accessible to your spouse.
  • Finally, and most importantly, create a comprehensive list of all investment accounts, life insurance policies, and contact information for financial professionals so that it is all in one place for your spouse to reference if need be. 
  • Gathering all this information will provide a roadmap of sorts for your loved ones if a tragedy occurs.

2. Review Your Beneficiaries
You have worked hard to save money and follow the steps to attain financial success, but if your beneficiary listings for your investments are not correct, you may inadvertently disinherit your loved ones. This happens when you fail to change or update beneficiaries on ALL of your accounts. Also, be sure to mark your beneficiaries as “per stirpes,” which lays out how assets should be distributed if a beneficiary passes away before you do. Finally, if you list beneficiaries incorrectly, whether it is due to spacing limitations on forms or because someone was marked off as a primary beneficiary rather than a contingent, you could cause trouble for your family down the road.  Do you remember that comprehensive list that was mentioned in step one? Use it to cross-reference your beneficiary listings to make sure your wealth is transferred according to your wishes. 

3. Build and Preserve Your Legacy
You’ve taken the right steps to build a financial legacy for your family, but have you considered how you will share your history and wisdom with future generations? This is the ideal time to invest in preserving your legacy. Make a video or write a journal or book for those who will come after you. Tell them about your life, how you met your spouse, and how you came to live where you did. Share details and anecdotes about your siblings, parents, and grandparents. Make it personal and explain what you would tell your younger self about how you would do things differently, especially from a money management perspective. Pour out your words of wisdom to help future generations create a stronger financial future. 

We want to see you enjoying every moment of your retirement and reaping the rewards of years of planning. Let us help you get every piece of the puzzle in place so that you have confidence that your loved ones are taken care of and benefit from your legacy. To set up a meeting, contact your Trilogy advisor today!


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