Are you planning to retire in 2023? If so, you may be getting increasingly excited by the week. Or are you growing increasingly anxious? That’s understandable, too.
The reality is that retirement is a big milestone, and it can mean a lot of changes. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re really ready to leave the workforce for good. If you’re set on a 2023 retirement, it pays to make these moves before 2022 wraps up.
1. Get an estimate of your monthly Social Security benefit
Ideally, Social Security won’t be your only income source in retirement. But it may be an important one. Furthermore, if your portfolio is down due to recent stock market turbulence, you may not want to touch it for a while until it recovers its value. That means you may end up being very reliant on Social Security during the early stage of retirement.
That’s why it’s so important to get an estimate of your monthly benefit — and make sure it will suffice in covering your bills if you plan to leave your portfolio alone for a while. You can get that estimate by accessing your most recent Social Security earnings statement, which is available online at SSA.gov. If you’re 60 or older, you should’ve also received a copy of that statement by mail, so you may just need to dig through your files.
2. Assess your IRA or 401(k) in light of the recent stock market downturn
There’s no sugarcoating the fact that the stock market just had its worst first-half-year run in decades. If you have a large chunk of your retirement portfolio in stocks, you’ll need to look at your balance and investment mix and make sure you’re comfortable moving forward with retirement now.
It may be that while you’re seeing losses on the stock end of your IRA or 401(k) plan, you also have a decent chunk of your retirement savings in cash. If so, you can fall back on that cash without liquidating investments at a loss. But make sure you have options outside of having to take permanent losses in your portfolio to make a near-term retirement possible.
3. List your home if you’re planning to downsize
Downsizing during retirement is by no means a given. But if it’s part of your plan, then it pays to look at listing your home soon.
Right now, home buyer demand is strong. But that could change if mortgage rates keep climbing. If you list your home now, you might be able to sell it at a really nice price — one that allows you to purchase a smaller home outright and have some money left over you can use as a cash source.
Some people are putting their 2023 retirement plans on hold in light of recent stock market events. You don’t necessarily have to follow suit. But you should get a grasp on your Social Security benefit, assess your portfolio, and move forward with downsizing sooner rather than later if that’s a route you’re interested in taking.
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