Planning to Retire in 10 Years_ Do These 3 Things First


Here's how to make sure you're adequately putting together for retirement.

Most individuals find retirement to be an exciting new chapter in their life, but it requires extensive planning and preparation. The moment to make any changes to your plan to make sure you're on track is when you're ten years out from retirement.


Even though every person's circumstances are unique, there are three steps you can do right away to increase your chances of retiring comfortably.

1. Verify the Social Security benefit you anticipate receiving.

For millions of Americans, Social Security is a vital source of income. In fact, according to a 2022 analysis from the Transamerica Centre for Retirement Studies, almost one-quarter of workers anticipate that their benefits will be their main source of income in retirement.

It's a good idea to be aware of your projected Social Security benefits if you plan to rely on it in your retirement in any way.

Fortunately, you can determine your benefit amount well in advance of retiring. You should be able to view your projected benefit amount on any paper statements you get in the mail. If not, you can create a mySocialSecurity account and access your statements online.

You can then view a projected amount of your future benefits based on your actual earnings. Just keep in mind that your future benefit amount may fluctuate if your income significantly changes between now and retirement.

2. Choose the date you wish to begin receiving rewards.

The choice of when to begin receiving Social Security benefits is one of the most crucial retirement decisions you'll have to make.

Your projected payout is based on the assumption that you'll apply when you reach full retirement age (FRA), which is 67 for those who were born in 1960 or after. However, you can either wait till after your FRA or start claiming as early as age 62. You will receive your full benefit amount (as shown on your statements) and a bonus of at least 24% per month if you wait until you are 70.

There is no right or wrong response in this situation, but it's crucial to think carefully before choosing. You could be better off deferring benefits if your main objective is to maximize your monthly income.

On the other side, you can decide to file early if you intend to retire in your early 60s or if you don't definitely need the additional income. Additionally, if you have health problems or don't plan to live in retirement for a long period, filing for benefits early may be a good idea.

3. Verify healthcare coverage

Retirement can come with considerable healthcare bills. According to Fidelity research, the typical 65-year-old couple may anticipate spending about $315,000 on out-of-pocket healthcare costs in retirement.

Medicare can be helpful, but it doesn't always provide coverage. Routine medical examinations, dental care, and eye exams for glasses prescriptions are some of the things it doesn't cover. Additionally, long-term care, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year (such as nursing facility expenditures), is typically not covered.

Although it can be challenging to budget for healthcare bills, doing so can help you avoid a lot of future stress. Consider purchasing long-term care insurance or selecting a Medicare Advantage plan that offers additional benefits over standard Medicare, for example.

Last but not least, you cannot join in Medicare until you are 65 years old, so if you intend to retire earlier than that, make sure you have another plan for paying for medical expenses so you don't risk depleting your resources on an unforeseen cost.