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"I Just Turned 65, now what?

Ten Things Everyone Should Do At or Near Retirement

Adapted from:

Certainly those of us in our 60s don’t like to think of ourselves as old, so it is tempting to put off planning our old age. Aging is often seen as a negative, but it can be turned into a positive. With a little assistance, seniors can take some steps to ensure that the road traveled will be a bit smoother.

Here is a recommended checklist to follow for every person nearing age 65.

1) Identify a trusted person or persons you want to use as the receiver of all of your essential information and documents. This person is your Information Keeper.

2) Have a signed and notarized durable power of attorney. A competent estate planning attorney will include this in the estate plan documents.

3) Have a signed advanced healthcare directive. A competent estate planning attorney will also include this document in the estate plan.

4) Make a list of all bank accounts, passwords, hard drive backup locations, investment records and financial planning. The professionals to contact should be on the list. And you should give permission in writing to each of them, such as accountant, estate planning lawyer and financial advisor, so they can communicate with your appointed Information Keeper.

5) List every insurance policy you have and provide the location of where it is stored. This includes life, disability, health, property, earthquake and anything else you own that will protect your heirs.

6) If you haven’t met with your financial planner in the last 6 months, make an appointment to review your retirement funds.

7) Make a copy of the mortgage statement, any other loans and debts, financial statements and bank statements. These should be updated quarterly, as these change as loans are paid or made and amounts available fluctuate.

8) Make a list of all physicians, care providers, and medications you take and give the list to the Information Keeper along with written permission for loved ones to speak with your doctors.

9) No one gets out of here alive. Create or have on hand information about your wishes for burial or disposition of your remains.

10) Update your will and/or trust with a local attorney. Laws vary from state to state and these need to be current in the state where you live in retirement.

Be sure to call a family meeting to discuss the items on this checklist. Transparency is critical to avoid conflicts down the road.

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