Your most important task as a retiree is to protect your retirement savings and investments.
It’s a fact of life that none of us can afford to lose our wealth in our later years. We have lost the time to make the money back again.
Many investors who lost money in the Great Financial Crash (GFC) of 2007-08 have never recovered their money.
We don’t want that to happen to you.
The “Protect Your Retirement” Checklist
We created a 20-point checklist to help you protect your retirement.
It’s an easy read for everyone.
Download your checklist as a free PDF report (no email address required) by clicking on the green button below.
Browse the infographic below to see if your retirement is at risk.
Are Your Retirement Savings at Risk?
Just in case the infographic above is not clear on your computer or cell phone screen, we have included a web page version below.
Will an annuity provide you the income you need?
Guaranteed income sounds great but will the annuity last your lifetime? Will the company issuing the annuity be around for all of your retirement? Do your research and consult a financial professional. Find out more about annuities at Wikipedia.
Do the bonds you own meet your retirement goals?
Bonds protect many retirement plans giving stability, income, security and tax savings. Check the bonds you own help you achieve your retirement goals – read this helpful article – Investopedia – Bonds and Retirement. Avoid junk grade bonds.
Could your business ruin your retirement?
If you own a business make sure your retirement savings are not at risk from a business collapse. Choose a retirement plan that suits your business and personal goals. Separate your business and personal assets wherever possible.
Do you have 3-6 months living expenses in cash?
Cash is king in times of crisis. Sleep well at night knowing you have money on hand for unexpected expenses. Hold cash in a bank with FDIC protected deposits up to $250,000. Learn more about FDIC – Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Are your valuable collectibles insured and stored safely?
Protect your collectibles but don’t rely on them for a big retirement payday. What is collectible today may be worth less in the future. Treat them as a bonus part of your wealth but not central to your retirement. Visit Investopedia – Collectibles and check what the IRS say – IRS – Retirement Plan FAQs.
Do you know your government entitlements?
Don’t lose income or grants you are entitled to as a U.S. citizen. Know your rights and protect your entitlements for retirement. Equally, don’t expect government help to always be there, be prepared! Visit Benefits.gov to find out more.
Is your retirement at risk from any ETFs you Hold?
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) benefit from low fees and ability to buy and sell just like stocks. However, they are becoming increasingly complex so make sure your ETFs are not risking your retirement. Not all ETFs are low risk. There is useful information at SEC – ETF Answers and Yahoo Finance – ETFs.
Will healthcare costs ruin your retirement?
Do you have retirement healthcare organized? Look after your health and enjoy your retired life. Keep active and social. Prevent health problems as much as you can. Budget sensibly for your health care needs. Review the information at Healthcare.gov – Retirees.
Have you insured what you value most?
Insurance is only costly when you need it and don’t have it. Make a list of the important things in your life and talk to an insurance professional on how best to cover them. Make sure your insurance is always up to date and look at CNN Money – Life Insurance.
Can you rely on your 401(k) or IRA?
Is your IRA or 401(k) invested to provide the retirement income you need? Can you rely on your employer’s contributions to your 401(k)? Make sure they can afford to pay you the pension you deserve. Learn more at Reviews.com – IRA Accounts.
Are your job skills up to date?
Protect your retirement with valuable extra income. Choose a second career in retirement to keep you busy, motivated and generating an income. Keep your independence with your own working income. Check out the ideas at My Lifestyle Career – 100 Second Acts.
Are you protected against legal action?
Protect your family, assets and retirement from legal action. Talk with an attorney on the best strategies to use and visit these sites for further information: Pension Rights.org and State.gov – Retirement Abroad.
Will your mutual funds protect your wealth?
Not all mutual funds are created equal. Check the performance and fees and how the fund matches your retirement goals. Remember, 80% of mutual funds do not beat the Dow Jones Industrial Average, so choose wisely.
Do you trade (or want to trade) options or derivatives?
Beware! Losses from options or derivatives can exceed your investments many times over. Retirees have less time to recover their finances from losses compare to younger generations. Don’t let risky investments ruin your retirement.
Are your personal finances well managed?
Pay down personal debt such as loans and credit cards. Spend less than you earn. Save 10% or more of your income. Don’t let high personal expenses ruin your retirement. The following websites could help you – Suze Orman – Retirement Planning and Practical Money Skills – Retirement.
Do you own gold or silver?
Protect precious metals in a secure bank or bullion vault. Use a gold IRA to hold gold for retirement. Holding gold bullion is often used as protection against financial crises – did you know gold rose 117% during the GFC? find out more at Gold Retiree – Why Invest in Gold? and Kitco – IRA.
Do your real estate investments give you positive cash flow?
Keep debt levels low and cash flow high to ride out real estate downturns. Pay down your home mortgage. Insure your properties. Positive cash flow from real estate can be a big help in your retirement. further information can be found at US News – Adding to Retirement and Bank Rate – Rental Income.
Do you have a plan for your retirement?
We’re talking about retirement goals, dreams, travel, interests and experiences and how you plan to make them happen. Without a plan, you could find yourself in serious financial difficulty. Know what you can and can’t afford to do. Protect your plan and enjoy your retirement. Discover the best retirement planning websites.
Are you a conservative or aggressive stock investor?
Do not mistake speculation for investment. Balance growth and income according to your age and retirement plans. Diversify your stock purchases, use stop losses and take a conservative, long term view. Find out more at US News – Stocks and Retirement and Lifehacker – Protect from a Stock Market Crash.
Will taxes steal your retirement?
Know your tax obligations. Keep taxes up to date and avoid dubious deductions. Do not give the IRS a reason to visit! Do not put your retirement at risk because of tax demands. Visit IRS.gov – Seniors and Retirees for more information.
We hope the checklist has proved useful. Please share this page with friends, family and colleagues you think will benefit from asking themselves these questions.
We must all protect our retirement!
If you have any comments about retirement protection, please feel free to place a comment in the box below.