Moving Into Retirement
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How to Jump-Start Your Retirement Planning in 2022

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Moving Into Retirement
adamkaz / E+ / Getty Images CC

Retirement Resolutions

The start of a new year is a good time to review your financial picture and make adjustments to reflect life changes, whether it's a new job, a salary increase, or some other monetary reality. It's also important to check in on planning and saving for retirement. As you embark on 2022, take some time to assess progress toward retirement goals, perhaps adding a few tools and eliminating those that aren't producing results. Here's some retirement advice to keep in mind in the new year.


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Multiracial women doing yoga exercise with social distance for coronavirus outbreak at park outdoor - Healthy lifestyle and sport concept
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Define What Retirement Means for You

The first step is defining what you want retirement to look like. Do you plan to spend your days playing tennis? Living near family? Globetrotting? Whatever the answer, it's important to know how much that lifestyle will cost. You'll want to begin identifying ways to cut costs and increase income, perhaps even starting a side hustle.


Related: Awful Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Research Options for Retiring Abroad
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Identify the Perfect Place to Retire Domestically
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Identify the Perfect Place to Retire Domestically

Even if you don't plan to pack up and move to another country, relocating may be worth considering. There are many places off the beaten path in the United States that have a great deal to offer, including budget-friendly real estate, lower taxes, and abundant outdoor activities. From Nampa, Idaho, to Falmouth, Massachusetts, there are plenty of retirement-friendly options right here.


Related: Early Retirement Secrets and Strategies You Need to Know

Short RV Trips
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Dodge Financial Ruin During Retirement
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Dodge Financial Ruin During Retirement

For those on the brink of saying goodbye to the 9-to-5 grind, there's a variety of important steps to take to ensure you have enough money. These efforts include conducting a self-audit, which involves reviewing expenses and finding ways to spend less; developing a monthly budget; and maintaining a detailed understanding of your cash flow.

Pare Down Your Costs
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Explore Retirement Communities
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Explore Retirement Communities

If money is no object during retirement, there are plenty of deluxe retirement communities across the country waiting to cater to you. From Alabama to California and Hawaii and everywhere in between, there are luxury retirement enclaves where the amenities range from 5-star dining to chauffeured social outings and more. But don't worry if those upscale options are a bit out of your price range — there are still plenty of affordable retirement communities to consider.


Related: American Cities With the Most Seniors

RV For Sale
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Get Your RV Ready to Roll

About 1 million Americans have chosen to spend retirement in an RV on the open road — for at least part of each year. If this is what you have in mind, choose an RV wisely; the initial purchase can be as much as $1 million if you decide to go big. Before buying, shop around and think realistically about your needs. You'll also want to prepare for the living expenses associated with the lifestyle, such as gas.


Related: 20 Ways to Save Money on Gas for Your RV

Vacations
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Set Sail

Before the coronavirus pandemic, one of the latest retirement developments involved seniors living at sea on commercial cruise ships. This way of life ranges from living part-time or seasonally aboard cruise ships to spending years on end sailing around the world. The cruise industry took notice, and now there are even resident-only ships developed to cater to retirees. If this lifestyle sounds intriguing, it may be worth taking a test cruise and talking to a financial planner about whether you could make it work — though maybe it's worth waiting until the industry has better responses to outbreaks of disease.


Related: Cruise Ship Horror Stories

Downsize
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Downsize

Don't forget, your post-work years should be as simple as possible, allowing you to live freely (particularly if you plan to live on a cruise ship or in an RV). An old job, family expenses, belongings, or other living expenses can be complications — so if retirement is near, this may be a good time to start getting rid of unneeded items and shrinking your financial responsibilities. This could include downsizing your home, eliminating lingering debt, and even giving away clothes or other personal belongings you no longer need.


Related: 30 Things Every Retiree Should Get Rid Of

Retirement Portfolio
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Reorganize Your Retirement Portfolio

If you're within five years of retirement, it's a good idea to start thinking about market risk in your retirement portfolio, said Michael Morgan, president of TBS Retirement Planning. "If your portfolio is fully invested in the market, you're at the mercy of Wall Street and a market correction could have a negative impact on your retirement," Morgan explains. "As you get closer to retirement, think about having a balance in your portfolio so that some of your money is protected from market declines."

Begin Tax Planning Now
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Begin Tax Planning Now

Be aware that the clock is always ticking on low tax rates and other financially helpful tools, Morgan said. Over the long term, "tax rates are sure to go up and could have a negative impact on your retirement … so tax planning should start now." Actions to look at include converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. "Once money is in a Roth, future distributions can be tax free to anyone who receives them," Morgan said.


Related: How to Sock Away $50 a Month Into an IRA

Prepare for Longevity
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Prepare for Longevity

Whichever road and lifestyle you choose in retirement, longevity is becoming one of the major financial challenges retirees face — people continue to live longer. "You could easily spend over one-fourth of your life in retirement," Morgan said. With that in mind, it's a good idea to talk with a financial professional this year and make sure you have a retirement plan in place that will provide you a lasting source of income.

Banish Regrets
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Banish Regrets

Many retirees have regrets when they reach retirement, with some of the most common being waiting too long to start saving, failing to plan for a spouse's death, and needing to claim Social Security too early — which can have a dramatic impact on how much money you ultimately get each month. Careful planning can help ensure none of this happens to you.

Don't Wait Too Long to Retire
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Don't Wait Too Long to Retire

Finally, it should go without saying that retirement is meant to be enjoyed. Make sure you don't hang on too long in the workforce. If you're financially able, take the time to step away from the grind and use your retirement years to learn things and have new experiences. As some experts note, remaining in the workforce too long will deplete the one resource you can't get back: time.


Related: Retirement Mistakes to Avoid