Questions to ask a financial planner to retire in the next 5 years

If you’re getting ready to retire, a visit to a financial planner might help.

Not only will you have a better understanding of where you stand financially, but a financial planner could also help you discern if you’re really ready for retirement. If you plan to retire in the next few years, seeing a financial planner now might help you spot problem areas while you still have time to correct them.

These are the three questions you should ask a financial planner well before you plan to leave your job.

1. Will I have enough saved?

Even if you think you’ve saved enough for retirement, getting an unbiased, objective opinion will be essential.

While this is probably an obvious question, it is an important one. A financial planner can help you project how much you need to save, how much you can withdraw each month, and better understand what your monthly budget will look like.

If you’ve saved enough, your financial planner can also help you understand where you can cut costs for retirement and help you decide when to accept Social Security payments.

2. Is my estate plan complete?

Anytime you face a major change in your life, updating your estate plan will be critical. Even if you plan to have a long and fulfilling retirement, having a detailed and up-to-date estate plan will be important for retirement.

Financial planner Ryan Ashley says this is a question he’s often asked by soon-to-be-retired clients. And, he says, it’s really a two-part question.

While part of estate planning is about the financial legacy you leave your loved ones, another part is about delegating important decisions if you can’t make them.

Having a last will and testament is a good start. But estate planning also includes having the correct power of attorney documents, the correct beneficiaries on your accounts, and a living will in place.

3. What can I do to be more prepared?

Financial planners can see the things you’ve missed on your journey to prepare for retirement. To be as prepared as possible, your financial planner might suggest some moves you can make now to help you later.

Financial planner Amy Richardson of Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium says she typically suggests a few things to anyone looking to retire in five years.

He often suggests to his clients that they start saving as much as possible during the last five years of work, as well as start thinking about health insurance during that time. And, she says, it’s not too soon to start thinking about the nonfinancial aspects of retirement, like how you’ll spend your time.

Your financial planner can help you start thinking beyond the basics of your planning and help you reach your goals before you leave your job.

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