So you’ve rounded third base and are headed for home.
What does that mean? Retire and travel? Health issues? No more mortgage? Long term care needs? End of life issues (morbid but true)? People inheriting your estate?
It can mean any or all of these things at some point in your “golden years”. Several things should be part of your plan for this stage of life.
Plan to have more cash available but treat it as if it is not replenishable. In retirement your income will most likely be fixed to some degree if you are not working at all. Good investment returns may replenish some or, in a best case scenario, all of what you use, but you should have the mindset that what you use up will not be replaced completely. That means have a plan in place that keeps you living within your means. Hopefully that will also allow you to accomplish some “retirement dreams” but also live a comfortable day to day life for a long time.
Keep in mind that one of the biggest retirement expenses is health care. Even with insurance and other medical benefits there can be substantial out-of-pocket costs. A lot of cash can be spent in a short amount of time. Have a budget that includes regularly setting aside funds for future medical expenses.
Equally important, have discussions with children or other relatives who may have to assume responsibility for your physical or financial well-being to make known your wishes in case of incapacity. This will make things easier on you and on your loved ones. Have healthcare and financial powers of attorney in place in case you become incapacitated.
If you have dependents and/or substantial assets, proper asset protection is essential. Have a written will to make financial provision for surviving dependents and to define what happens with your belongings when you are gone.
Finally, be prepared to touch home plate. All of us will get there. We just don’t know when.