As the population of Baby Boomers approaching retirement swells, financial literacy among pre-retirees becomes essential in order for their quality of life to be maintained. In the ideal workplace, successful retirement planning programs are accessible and utilized; or alternately, professional financial counseling or retirement planning services are sought. In the absence of these resources, pre-retirees are encouraged to contact TCOG’s Benefits Counseling or Aging and Disability Resource Center Programs.
The following tips may also be useful:
Increase Financial Literacy
- Start saving early for retirement. Take advantage of compound interest that accumulates over time.
- Prepare a budget by projecting your living costs. Include costs that fall outside usual expenses such as anticipated purchases, seasonal utility increases, property taxes, home/auto repair.
- Understand the importance of preventative care. Maintain your health and dental hygiene with regular visits. Consider purchasing dental insurance or setting aside money for regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Keep in mind that Medicare does not include dental coverage.
- Pass on your retirement wisdom to children or grandchildren. They will appreciate the knowledge as they get older.
Prepare for Medicare
- Call a TCOG Benefits Counselor to learn about Medicare eligibility and benefits.
- Benefits Counselors provide Part D plan comparison and counseling, enrollment assistance and pre-eligibility screening for financial assistance with Medicare costs.
- Benefits Counselors also provide information and education about Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage plans, including enrollment periods and costs associated with original Medicare.
- Avoid Late Enrollment Penalties by enrolling in Medicare unless you have creditable insurance through a private health plan.
- Call a TCOG Benefits Counselor or visit/call the Social Security Administration office to enroll in Medicare.
Prepare for Emergencies
- Prepare legal documents such as Advance Directives and a will. Doing so will protect your personal interests or estate in the event of a health crisis.
- List bank accounts, stocks and annuities and insurance policies and share the location with a trusted individual. If you are a Veteran, let someone know where your DD-214 is located.
Understand Long-Term Care Options
- In the later phase of retirement, many require assistance with daily living tasks.
- Talk with TCOG Benefits Counseling or ADRC staff to determine which long-term care options suit your preferences, such as community living with in-home supports, residing in skilled or assisted living facilities, etc.
- Consider the possible future home modifications in your budget.
As retirement education programs essential to the well-being and financial security of individuals and families, policy changes that improve the accessibility of retirement education in the workplace are needed to meet the demand. In the meantime, Benefits Counselors at TCOG’s Area Agency on Aging are a valuable resource. For more information about the Benefits Counseling Program or local retirement planning resources, please call 1-855-YES-ADRC.
Krajnak, P.A., C.E.B.S., Burns, S.A., PhD., & Natchek, S.M., C.E.B.S. (2008). Retirement education in the workplace. Financial Services Review, 17(2), 131-141. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/212007689?accountid=7113
Brotslaw, I. (1978). A Pre-Retirement Education Program. Labor Studies Journal, 3(1), 41-45.