Retirement is often the start of a new chapter for many people. However, the pandemic may have caused you to approach this moment differently than how you planned. There are a few factors to consider when retiring through the pandemic. Here’s what you need to know.
Many people’s financial situation shifted due to the pandemic. Perhaps you’ve had to retire earlier than anticipated, or you ran into additional health issues because of the virus. Because of this, creating a plan for your finances in retirement should be a top priority.
The pandemic can be a good opportunity for you to pause and reevaluate how you’d like to use your money moving forward. You may want to start by determining what you expect to spend in retirement and compare that to your predicted retirement income. You might find there are different expenses to expect in retirement or that you may need to make lifestyle changes.
It’s common for people to move somewhere new for retirement. If this sounds like you, it’s important to consider how the pandemic may affect this process. If you haven’t decided where you’re living yet, be prepared to see a lot more virtual tours and potentially new protocols when visiting in person.
You may also consider the different health protocols businesses and states have implemented due to COVID-19. For example, moving companies may ask you to wear a mask when working with their staff. If you plan to donate unwanted items before you move, be aware of new rules for donation centers.
Like many others, you may have expected to travel a lot while in retirement, whether nationally or internationally. If this is the case, you’ll need to see if any of your plans need to change.
Although travel is currently more open than before, it can still be difficult to visit some places. In many cases, you are required to wear a mask, be vaccinated, and take other precautionary measures to ensure public safety. There may even be travel bans set in place for some locations. To address these potential travel changes, you may consider rescheduling flights for a later date or changing the itinerary of your trips.
As you grow older and move into retirement, the state of your health should also stay a priority. During this pandemic, many people have run into additional health issues and wondered how their healthcare would be affected.
For many people, retiring often means switching over to Medicare for healthcare coverage. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older and anyone under 65 with specific disabilities. Although not always the case, most people enroll in Medicare when they turn 65.
To prepare for retirement, you’ll want to confirm you are eligible for Medicare, conduct research on the different Medicare plans, and enroll at the appropriate time. Doing so will help you prepare for any health issues, whether related to the pandemic or not.
The pandemic has also had a significant effect on people’s mental health. This can be especially true for those facing retirement during this time. Perhaps you had a vision of what your retirement would like and how you would transition to this new way of life.
Instead, maybe you had to retire early due to job loss, causing you to scramble a bit. Or perhaps the transition from working at home to not working at all had more of an effect on you and your relationships than you realized. Whatever the case may be, it’s essential to take note of your mental state and how you’re coping with such a significant life change during the pandemic.
Overall, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take this moment in time to reevaluate your financial, health, and lifestyle plans and adjust as needed. Life in the pandemic has caused many of us to make different lifestyle changes we didn’t anticipate, so don’t be afraid to adapt as needed.
About the author
Danielle Roberts is a Medicare expert and the co-founder of Boomer Benefits. She is also the author of the best-selling book 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make, which helps beneficiaries avoid critical but all too common Medicare pitfalls. Danielle is a member of the Forbes Finance Council and a past president of the Fort Worth chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters. She now serves on the state board as its Medicare chairperson.