Everything you need to do to be ready for retirement

The Pre-Retirement Checklist

The TDS Library


Does it seem like your finances keep getting more and more complicated? It seems that way because it's true. And that means that you need to keep things organized. Not only for yourself, but ultimately for your children.

It's not that difficult. In just a few pages, we'll walk you through the steps that you need to take. Sure, it'll take a little bit of time. But if you don't do it, there will come a day when your children will spend many, many hours trying to figure out where all the accounts are and how to access them and they'll hope that they don't miss anything that should be left to them.

Your Lifestyle - things that you want to take time to consider and discuss with your spouse (if appropriate) and possibly even your children

  • Should you consider downsizing? Will you continue to live in the family home? Or is it time to consider something smaller and easier to maintain?
  • Will you do more traveling? How much will you budget for travel each year?
  • Will you take up or expand a current hobby? Will that require additional space or equipment? Could it provide some side income?

Income & Expenses - Will you have enough money to retire on? Will you outlive your resources?

Assets & Liabilities

  • List of all bank accounts - including branch location, title of the account and account number
  • List of all brokerage accounts - including title of account, phone number for broker and account number
  • List of all mutual fund accounts - including title of account, phone number and account number
  • List of all life insurance policies - including title of account, carrier, phone number and policy number
  • List of any annuities - including title of account, carrier, phone number and policy number
  • List location of any safety deposit box and location of keys - including bank branch and name on the box
  • List any grave sites you have purchased
  • Location of any storage units (include passwords & location of keys)
  • Location of any hidden storage spots in your house/garage
  • List of any collections or items of value (jewelry, artwork, collectibles, antiques, etc.)
  • Location of any deeds or titles (home, auto, etc.)
  • List of all credit card accounts - including contact numbers for each
  • List of any auto loans - including holder of loan and their contact information
  • List of any mortgages or home equity loans - including holder of loan and their contact information
  • List of any open student loans - including holder of loan and their contact information

Important Legal and Financial Documents

  • Have a proper will. Make sure it's legal and up to date.
  • Check the beneficiaries on any life insurance policies.
  • Check the beneficiaries on any retirement plans (pensions, IRAs, 401Ks, etc.).
  • Make sure you have any necessary medical directives.
  • Have a power of attorney in case you're incapacitated.

Contact Information

  • Notify your executor (or whoever will handle your affairs when you die) where they can find important documents
  • List of all your online passwords (including phones, tablets, etc.)
  • List of all automatic payments on your credit cards and from your bank
  • List of people to notify on your passing
  • Names and contact information for your legal and financial advisors
  • Names and contact information for doctors
  • Names and contact information for any pastors or spiritual advisors
  • Contact information for home, auto, and medical insurances

End of Life Arrangements - make plans now while you still can!

  • Selection of a funeral home (and information about prepayment)
  • Instructions for the funeral service
  • Selection of a cemetery (and information about prepayment)
  • Information for obituary (if desired)

The Dollar Stretcher has been providing frugal living information since 1996. To keep up with your finances subscribe to 'After 50 Finances' and visit our boomer section today! Did you think of something that should be added to the list? Then please send us an email and tell us what it is.

If you have any friends heading into retirement, please feel free to share this with them.


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