Friday, May 3, 2019

Your Retirement Planning Checklist For 2021

Retirement planning can be confusing...

There are so many moving pieces and we need to make sure we are doing everything in our power to get our finances organized before we head out into this next phase of life.

We have put together a comprehensive retirement action plan checklist for anyone nearing retirement in 2020.  It makes sense to complete a financial audit prior to retirement so that you can prepare for the transition as proactively as possible. 

At the end of the post, there is a free checklist that summarizes all of the points that you are welcome to download.

1. GETTING ORGANIZED: Gather Your Financial Data

You won't be able to start planning for retirement effectively until you pull all of your pertinent documents together. Put some time aside to gather your: 

  • Pension statements
  • Most recent investments statements 
  • Insurance documents, wills, powers of attorney
  • Debt statements


Create a budget that addresses your basic necessities, major expenses, travel, fun, and leisure. Understand how your expenses will change in retirement and also make note that some of your expenses will decrease including employment deductions.

Start thinking about the activities that matter the most to you and make sure your budget addresses these items first.

Explore and estimate costs you should be aware of for health and long term care in your region.


Retirement comes with a mindset shift in terms of where cash flow will come from now that you won't have a traditional paycheck to rely on. Have a clear outline of the makeup of your new income sources.

  • Assess the best time to access Government Benefits 
  • Estimate your annual pension plan benefits (if applicable)
  • Determine how much sustainable income your investments can produce annually
  • Include other potential sources of income (part-time work, small business, etc) 


  • Set your target retirement date
  • Understand how much you need to save to reach your income goal
  • Incorporate assumptions for inflation, investment returns, and life expectancy



Having a clearly written plan in place for retirement can bring you peace of mind. Don't hesitate to work with a Certified Financial Planner if you need guidance and an independent review of your finances before you decide to retire.  Below are some ways a good planner can add value.

  • Long-term income and expense projections
  • Utilize proactive tax planning opportunities​
  • Explore different scenarios


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