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5 things to do before you retire

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

Retirement can change your financial status, even if you retire with enough resources to live as well as you did while you were still working. Here are five last-minute retirement planning tasks that are more easily accomplished while you're still on the payroll.

Get dental care. Medicare doesn't pay for dental care, although some Medicare Advantage plans do include limited dental insurance. But you'll probably get no help with dentures or potentially expensive treatments for gum disease. If you have dental insurance before you retire, that's the time to get your teeth into the best shape possible. It's also smart to put aside money to replace dentures because they don't last forever, and you may find yourself needing them when you can least afford it.

Get vision care. Same story. If you have vision insurance from your employer, use it before you lose it because Medicare doesn't include these benefits.

Apply for a mortgage. You may have great credit, a healthy bank account, the ability to make a large down payment, and some lucrative consulting income, but you still may not be able to satisfy a mortgage underwriter. In this new -- and crazy -- banking universe, the lack of a regular paycheck often disqualifies you. That makes the pre-retirement months the best time to get financing for a retirement home.

Evaluate your life insurance. The older you get, the more expensive life insurance gets. If you are getting insurance through your employer, you may be able to roll it over into an individual policy at a lower price than you could find if you wait until you leave the company.

Take stock of your retirement accounts. Consider rolling over your 401(k). Find out when and how you qualify for any pensions from current and previous employers. If you have deferred compensation coming to you, understand the payout terms. Get these details in writing, just in case there is confusion later.

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February 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm hit it on the head. The 3 rules of retirement are:
1. No mortgage 2. No credit card bills 3. Make sure your kids make more money than you. Then enjoy your retirement.

February 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm

This article misses the big point:

You need to estimate your living expenses and then look at the income you'll receive to make sure you have living expenses met.

I've seen too many friends retire and THEN do the numbers only to find out their expenses are greater than their income.

Ultimately, they live on less or take on part time work to fill the gaps.

February 18, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Check out number three. ?????

February 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Jennie is only partially correct when she discusses vision and dental coverage under Medicare. Standard Medicare does not offer dental and vision coverage. Therefor the person wanting to retire needs to investigate the Medicare supplemental insurance to cover vision and dental.

February 18, 2014 at 10:23 am

jennie must work for a bank no way mortgage and life insurance can be expensive the older you are .expenses funeral and such know should be paid for already . A WILL should be in place and set up for exactly how your needs a bills will be paid adding debt is just silly

February 18, 2014 at 10:05 am

Mortgage? What ? !! Retiring and you want to get a mortgage? Retiring and you want to NOW buy a house on credit? Something very wrong here. If you are retiring, you sure don't need to be buying a house on credit.