THINGS YOU SHOULD DO 3 TO 5 YEARS BEFORE RETIRING
1. Fix up your house. Do all the renovations and repairs that need to be done while you still have your higher income. In the event repairs or renovations go higher than expected you can still adjust your retirement date to accommodate paying off those expenses before you retire.
2. Pay off your home. Paying off your home or downsizing to a smaller home is one of the most effective ways of reducing your monthly expenses when you enter retirement. Most people are carrying housing debt 60 -65% of their income which would be devastating if you took those costs into retirement.
3. Pay off your vehicle. Paying off your vehicle before retirement is beneficial. Reduction in auto expenses if the vehicle is not too old or in the recent past you have been plagued with repairs. You want to consider purchasing a newer vehicle a couple of years before retirement.
4. Pay off debt. You definitely don’t want to carry any credit card debt or any payment plans into retirement especially those that have a balloon payment. Many furniture companies offer one or two years with no payment but in the second or third year you have a balloon payment if you do not pay in full all the interest is charged back to day one and added to your debt.
5. Tighten your budget- calculate what will be your income when you retire and live on those limited funds for a period of time before you retire. The sooner you do this exercise the better as if you cannot live on it you have time to adjust your situation.
6. Do a financial plan that incorporates the benefits offered by various branches of government. This can be assistance on housing costs, medical , etc. Most community centres carry brochures on these benefits s for people over 60.
7. Draft the lifestyle you want to live when you enter retirement. This can be where do you want to live, how many vacations per year, activities you would like to explore, etc
8. Start to scale down. Selling or giving away items you no longer want or need.
9. The motto should be travel light.