As you approach retirement time, you are probably bursting with excitement. There is so much you have been looking forward to once you retire. Before you take the retirement plunge, you may want to do some planning.

Planning for the future is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your spouse and your family. Most people do not take the time to prepare or plan for retirement outside of financial planning, but there is so much more.

Joanne Waldman, the director of training for Retirement Options and owner of New Perspective Coaching in Missouri, recounts in an article for Now It Counts (NIC), a website for the 50+ generation, that she “once did a workshop with a group of executives, and afterwards one of them came up and said he had thought more about his retirement in the last two hours than he had in the last 20 years.” In fact, according to Ms. Waldman, few people do in-depth planning before they retire. The article from which she is quoted is entitled “Five Essential (Non-Financial) Things to do Right Now.” It includes:

  1. Talk About It (Retirement)
  2. Focus on Your Health
  3. Meaning and Purpose
  4. Start Living your Dreams Now
  5. Make Changes that Prepare You for Retirement,

While doing all this thinking, dreaming and living, there are some documents you will want to track down and keep in a safe place. They include:

  • Legal documents:
    • Legal name
    • Social Security Card
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate
    • Divorce certificate (if applicable)
    • Will
  • Copies of the following:
    • Driver’s license
    • Passport
  • Contact information for your:
    • Close family and friends
    • Attorney
    • Financial advisor
    • Doctor(s)
  • Current list of medications

Needless to say, gathering and filing this information should make things much smoother when you actually retire.

Another step as you prepare to retire is to declutter. As the NIC articles says, “start decluttering by either selling items or giving them away. It’s also perfect for people to consider getting a jump on downsizing homes if they envision themselves living in a smaller home during retirement.”

But when is it the right time to retire? Look for our next blog.