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Hold Up on the Retirement Celebration until You Cross These off the List

Happy retirementFolks who are retiring like to plan their retirement date in either the springtime or the early summer. But Kiplinger’s article, “4 Actions to Take If You’re Retiring in 2017,” warns that before you begin planning your retirement party, do these things if you’re retiring in 2017.

  1. Make sure to get the match. Your employer may “match” and/or offer “profit-sharing” contributions to your 401(k) or other retirement plan. You typically must be actively employed on the date of payment in order to receive these funds, so be sure that you understand the terms before setting your final work date.

You may want to up your personal contribution percentage to help you reach your annual maximum. Employers frequently limit the amount you can contribute to your plan from each paycheck, so you may need to increase your contribution percentage long before you retire to max out.

  1. Review Your Risk Profile. Retirement is a major change in your life. It’s a transition from saver to spender, where you’ll start spending your retirement nest egg. Rebalancing your investments is critical to keep things in balance when you retire.

Don’t keep too much of your portfolio in riskier assets like stocks, or you’ll be vulnerable to a potential market downturn.

  1. Don’t Underpay Your Taxes. When you retire, by default, taxes aren’t withheld on your retirement income. You have to opt in to have taxes withheld from your Social Security benefits, pension benefits, and IRA or 401(k) distributions.

If you don’t have taxes withheld, you’ll need to pay estimated taxes.

Reference: Kiplinger (May 2017) “4 Actions to Take If You’re Retiring in 2017”

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