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Snow Federal Retirement Seminars, LLC

Retirement checklist and Considerations

Planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us.

10 Years Before Retirement:

Financial Assessment: Review your retirement savings and investments. Consider consulting a ChFEBC℠ for retirement planning. www.chfebc.com

Pension Estimation: Contact your HR department or use online tools to estimate your federal pension benefits.

Debt Reduction: Work on paying off high-interest debts, such as credit cards and loans.

Military Service Records: Gather all records related to your military service, including DD-214 and other discharge papers.

Military Buyback Information: Contact your HR department to inquire about the process and cost of military service buyback. Understand the impact on your retirement benefits.

5 Years Before Retirement:

 Retirement Eligibility: Confirm your eligibility for retirement benefits, including Social Security and federal pension.

Budget Planning: Create a retirement budget that accounts for expected expenses and income. Include the cost of military buyback.

Healthcare: Review your health insurance options and understand how Medicare will work with your federal health benefits.

As a federal employee, it's essential to begin planning for retirement early in your career. The road to retirement is built on solid financial habits and a focus on long-term goals. By taking consistent and intentional steps towards your financial future, you can create a retirement that offers the freedom and opportunities you deserve, rather than uncertainty and worry.

3 Years Before Retirement: 

TSP (Thrift Savings Plan): Review your TSP investments and consider your withdrawal options.

Legal Documents: Update your will, living will, and power of attorney as needed.

Social Security: Understand your Social Security benefits and options for when to start receiving them.

1 Year Before Retirement: 

Retirement Date: Set a specific retirement date and inform your HR department.

Leave Balances: Plan how to use or cash in unused leave balances.

Beneficiary Updates: Review and update your beneficiary designations for retirement accounts and life insurance.

Military Buyback Decision: Decide whether you want to proceed with the military service buyback and make any necessary financial arrangements.

6 Months Before Retirement: 

Healthcare Transition: Plan for your healthcare coverage post-retirement, including Medicare enrollment.

Finalize Finances: Ensure your financial plan is in place, including any necessary tax strategies.

Confirmation: Ensure that the military service buyback process is complete and that your military service time is credited toward your federal retirement.

1 Month Before Retirement: 

HR Paperwork: Complete all necessary retirement paperwork and submit it to HR.

Farewells: Notify colleagues and prepare for a farewell event if desired.

1 Week Before Retirement: 

Personal Items: Clean out your workspace and return any federal property.

Financial Institutions: Inform banks and financial institutions of your retirement date.

2 Weeks After Retirement: 

 Post-Retirement Budget: Review and adjust your retirement budget based on your actual income and expenses.

Healthcare: Confirm your healthcare coverage and understand how it works in retirement.

Social Activities: Explore new hobbies and interests or connect with retirement communities.

Legal and Financial Review: Review your estate plan, investments, and financial goals regularly.

Preparing a list of important information to leave in a secure and accessible location, such as a fireproof safe or a secure digital vault, is a responsible and considerate step. This information can be invaluable to your loved ones as they navigate the administrative and financial aspects that follow a death. Additionally, inform a trusted family member or executor of your estate where to find this information, and remember to regularly review and update these documents as needed to ensure they remain current and accurate.

Here is a list of things to consider having in a safe location:

  1. Last Will and Testament: Provide the location of your will and the name of the attorney, if applicable. Ensure your will is up-to-date and reflects your current wishes.
  2. Advance Healthcare Directive: If you have one, leave a copy of your advance healthcare directive, which outlines your medical treatment preferences in case you become unable to communicate.
  3. Financial Records:
    • Bank account information (account numbers and contact details).
    • Investment accounts and brokerage information.
    • Retirement account details (e.g., 401(k), IRA).
    • Life insurance policies (policy numbers, contact information).
    • Property deeds and mortgage information.
    • Vehicle titles and registration information.
  4. Passwords and Digital Assets:
    • A list of passwords for important online accounts (e.g., email, banking, social media).
    • Instructions for accessing your computer, smartphone, and any encrypted data.
  5. Insurance Policies: Provide copies of health, home, auto, and any other insurance policies, including contact information for the insurance companies.
  6. Social Security and Identification:
    • Social Security numbers for you and any dependents.
    • Copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other identification documents.
  7. Tax Information: Share details about your tax returns, including the location of past returns and any outstanding tax obligations.
  8. Safe Deposit Box: If you have a safe deposit box, specify its location, and provide access details.
  9. Estate Planning Documents:
    • Trust documents, if applicable.
    • Powers of attorney (financial and healthcare).
    • Guardianship or custody arrangements for dependents.
  10. List of Debts and Obligations: Provide information about outstanding debts, loans, and any creditors, including contact information.
  11. Digital Assets and Accounts: Specify how to access and manage your digital assets, such as email accounts, social media profiles, and cloud storage.
  12. Final Arrangements:
    • Funeral or memorial service preferences.
    • Burial or cremation instructions.
    • Any prepaid funeral or burial plans.
  13. Contact Information: Create a list of important contacts, including family members, close friends, and professionals (attorneys, accountants, ChFEBC℠ ).
  14. Location of Personal Belongings: If there are specific sentimental or valuable items that you want to bequeath to certain individuals, make a list of these items and their intended recipients.
  15. Financial Advisor or Planner: Share contact information for your financial advisor or planner, if you have one, to help your beneficiaries with financial decisions.
  16. Passwords for Digital Assets: If you have digital assets like cryptocurrency, provide the passwords and access information in a secure manner.

"When contemplating retirement, the essence lies in the numbers. By meticulously analyzing and planning our financial figures, we pave the way for a secure and prosperous post-work life." "Achieving a fulfilling life hinges upon a well-crafted retirement plan. By securing a solid foundation for our future, we unlock the key to a truly great and rewarding journey ahead."

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