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Checklist: Are you ready to retire?

Here's a checklist for retirement
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Making sure you have enough money to retire is only the first step in planning a successful retirement.

2. Do you have enough saved to retire?

The next thing to check off your list: confirm if your savings and investments will provide enough income for you throughout retirement. There's no one magical number for everyone; the amount of money you need for a successful retirement depends on a number of factors, including:

  • How old you are and how long you expect your retirement to last
  • The total cost of your annual expenses, based on your lifestyle
  • Whether you plan to use any of your nest egg on other goals, such as giving gifts to family, paying for a grandchild's college education, or donations to charity.
  • How your savings and investments are positioned (see #3)

Not sure what "enough" looks like for you? Try using an online retirement calculator. This can help you understand how much income you might need and whether or not you have enough in your retirement accounts.

3. Is your portfolio ready for a life transition?

It's not just you who has to switch from a "saving" to a "spending" mindset, you may need to adjust your investment portfolio as well. You may want to take on less risk going forward, since you now need to rely on your nest egg for income. One option to consider is whether an annuity, which can provide guaranteed lifetime income, makes sense for a portion of your portfolio assets.

Making decisions on how to best reallocate your portfolio for retirement success can be challenging. This is why many people choose to work with a financial advisor who can guide them — and their investments — through this huge transition.

4. When will you claim your Social Security benefits?

Deciding when to claim your Social Security benefits can be a difficult decision. There are a lot of factors to consider, including what age you decide to stop working, your life expectancy, and how much of your retirement plan is dependent on these benefits to be successful.

For example, deciding to claim your benefits before reaching full retirement age (FRA) will permanently reduce your monthly payments. On the other hand, if you decided to wait until after your full retirement age to collect, your benefit amount will increase each month until you turn age 70.

Before making any decisions, you should speak with a representative from the Social Security Administration to review your options or to visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount to access a personalized benefits estimate based on your earnings history.

5. What's your plan for your biggest expense in retirement?

For most people, healthcare costs represent the largest expense they need to handle in retirement and through the end of their lives. While you may plan to rely on Medicare, know that there may be gaps between what that program provides and your medical bills. Plan ahead for how you'll pay for any out-of-pocket costs.

Another consideration is long-term care costs. Long-term care is the care you may need if you're unable to perform the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, and using the bathroom. Most individuals will need some type of extended health care during their lifetimes. To help plan for this rising cost, it may make sense to purchase a long-term care insurance policy with a benefit that increases annually along with the cost of living.

6. Get a second set of eyes on your plan.

Even if you managed to check all the boxes here, don't hesitate to ask a qualified professional with retirement planning expertise to review your financial situation to make sure your plan will set you up for success.

You don't want to make a mistake when you're so close to achieving what you've worked hard to accomplish all these years. Sitting down with a financial planner from Synovus can give you confidence and peace of mind, knowing you're truly ready for retirement and able to fund the life you want to enjoy.

Learn more about Synovus Financial Planning Services

Important Disclosure Information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.