Planning for retirement does not have to be a difficult or stressful process. However, waiting until the last minute to do so can make the transition less than smooth. It is never too late to start preparing for retirement, but starting now will be more mentally, and financially, rewarding than starting in a few years. When deciding on consulting with a financial adviser, they will ask a few basic questions to get started. Once those questions have been answered, the retiree will be on their way to creating a customized investment plan to financially prepare for retirement. But first, there are a few steps to take to ensure the first visit with a financial adviser in New Jersey is tailored to the needs of the retiree.  Before that first meeting, prepare by doing the following:

Invest rather than save

Having money in a savings account is a good idea for emergencies, but keeping more than a few thousand dollars in such an account won’t doing any good for the long-term. Savings account interest rates are abysmal, so it is better to put money to work by investing in a 401 (k), 401 (a), or even a Roth IRA. These three investment accounts can start earning money in aggressive brokerage funds, or even guarantee money at slightly lower rates in more cautious investment packages.

Apply for government benefit programs

For instance, the earliest a person can apply for Social Security benefits, for example, is four months before their 62nd birthday or age 61 and nine months. However, applying this early can reduce the amount of lifelong benefits they receive by 25%. A financial advisor may caution to apply later in life, most likely at age 65 or 70, if the retiree can afford to wait that long. It is best for the retiree to know their financial situation before sitting down with an advisor for the best outcome.  A retiree can confidently assert which age to collect Social Security is an appropriate step for them and their money.

Pay off old debts

Paying off lingering debts is important.  This way, any income that is earned from investments does not go to paying off interest rates or other debt that has fallen into collections.

Calculate any anticipated income

Once the retiree knows the bills they will be paying during retirement and the benefits or pension they can expect to receive at the same time, they can calculate their anticipated income. This money will come from investments, savings accounts, and other programs, and must be a sum that can be lived off of from month to month. Once the retiree determines their monthly cost of living, multiply the sum by 12, and then by 25. This is the amount of money they will need to have in their account before they can comfortably retire. Consult with a financial advisor in New Jersey in order to learn how to best earn these funds and ensure they are still available when they are needed.

Review all insurance and estate plans

Once someone has retired, their employer might not pay for insurance any longer. Instead, the retiree will need to apply for health insurance, and, if they have not already done so, life insurance. Health insurance premiums can be expensive for retirement-age clients, especially if they have a preexisting condition. Monthly life insurance costs can be equally as daunting so meet with a financial advisor in New Jersey to review the estate plan and ensure not only that the retiree is  taken care of, but that loved ones are taken care of too.

These are the steps necessary to meeting the monetary goals of retirement. Though planning for retirement can seem like an intimidating task, most retirees are already on the right track just by reading this article. Be confident in the expectations of what a comfortable financial retirement will look like.  For those who may still have additional questions, which is only natural at this time of life, talk to a trusted financial adviser. A financial adviser will be able to guide the retiree towards a comfortable retirement that not only meets their needs, but is also built around them, their lifestyle and retirement goals.