Ready for Retirement? Review This Checklist

RetirementTake these eight essential steps to achieve retirement success.

How do know when you’ll be ready for retirement? The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College says that 20% of households are wrong in projecting when they’ll be ready to retire. Here’s a checklist to go through before you should consider yourself ready to retire.

Determine and Test Your Retirement Budget. Do a dry run of your future retirement lifestyle for six months before your intended retirement date. This will help you get a better understanding of how you can follow your retirement budget.

Get Rid of Debt and Downsize. If you begin your retirement with large amounts of debt, it can be trouble. Before you stop working, pay off any high-interest debt to avoid having to make these payments in retirement. Consider where you’ll live in retirement and the money you can save by downsizing.

Look through Your Portfolio. You should balance growing investments, preserving capital and generating income. This prioritization will change over time, but your portfolio should be able to handle both your current and future financial needs.

Talk About Social Security with Your Spouse. To get the biggest payout of your Social Security benefits, you need to have a strategy in place. Your monthly benefit will differ significantly, based on the age you start receiving benefits. This will also impact the amount your surviving spouse may receive. Speak with your spouse about who will file for benefits and when. Don't be afraid to get a professional opinion, if this is overwhelming.

Review Your Estate Plan. Before you start your retirement, make sure that you have drafted your will and powers of attorney (POA). Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney.

Talk to Your Kids. If your adult children are still depending on you financially, begin a dialog to make them more independent. Even though it will be tough, it’s critical that they understand how your estate plan will affect them in the future.

Let Go of the Emotions. There can be mixed feelings about retirement. Therefore, it is very important that you and your spouse talk about how you’ll spend your free time and prepare for the changes in your routines.  You should also agree on the other aspects of preparing for retirement, like determining your budget and lifestyle choices.

Consult a Professional. There are several steps in getting it right, but it’s helpful to meet with a professional who has worked with others to prepare for this next step in life and walk you through the process.

Reference: The Street (April 12, 2018) “8 Essential Steps to Achieve Retirement Success”


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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.