Taking care of your money is an important part of caring for your whole self. Setting actionable goals to improve your finances can lead to improvements in other areas of your life as well. This five-part series maps out some key financial goals you may want to set for each decade of your life. Parts 1 and 2 covered the most important money moves for your 20s and 30s. Parts 3 and 4 focused on your 40s and 50s. Part 5 wraps up the series with a discussion of the financial issues you should consider in your 60s and beyond.

Your 60s can be a mix of endings and beginnings, as you might leave work behind and pursue new paths. There’s some mental preparation involved, but it’s also important to ensure you’re financially ready for what comes next. Whether that’s full retirement, working part-time or pursuing an encore career, these tips and goals can help you face the future self-assuredly.

1. Calculate Your Retirement Budget

If you’ve just turned 60, retirement may be a few years off yet, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about how your retirement budget will shape up. According to a 2018 National Housing Partnership Foundation survey, however, 31 percent of Baby Boomers who are nearing retirement have yet to create a retirement budget.

How do you envision your retirement? Does it involve traveling to exotic destinations, taking up a new hobby or moving across the country to be closer to family? Will you upgrade your home or downsize? Will you spend more or less on things like transportation, entertainment, clothing, food or healthcare? Looking at the big picture can help you whip your retirement budget into shape.

Don’t forget about longevity, either. According to the Social Security Administration, the average life expectancy for a man turning 65 today is 84.3 years and it increases to 86.7 for a woman turning 65 today. Thinking about your life expectancy in realistic terms can give you a sense of how likely your savings are to last, based on your estimated budget.

2. Figure Out Your Timeline for Social Security

According to Fidelity, Social Security eligibility begins at age 62, but just 28 percent of 61-year-olds say they’ll take their benefits as soon as possible, and with good reason. Taking your benefits before reaching full retirement age, which is 66 or 67 for many people, decreases your monthly benefit amount. Waiting until age 70 to take these benefits, on the other hand, increases your benefits by 8 percent annually for each year you waited. That’s good news, considering that the average monthly Social Security benefit was just $1,404 for 2018.

Whether you should take Social Security at 62, at your full retirement age, or wait until later depends on several factors, including how much you have saved for retirement, your monthly expenses and how long you plan to keep working. Running the numbers can help you decide when Social Security should make an arrival on your financial scene.

3. Start Learning About Medicare

Medicare eligibility opens up in the three months before you turn 65, and if you won’t be covered by an employer’s healthcare plan, you’ll need to get ready to apply. The biggest decision you’ll have to consider is whether to choose Original Medicare versus a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Original Medicare includes Part A, which covers hospital inpatient care, and Part B, which covers doctors’ services, labs, etc. Medicare Part D is additional coverage that extends to prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, typically cover all three, along with extras like vision or hearing care.

In terms of cost, Medicare.gov says most people pay no premium for Part A coverage, but the premiums for Part B start at $135.50 per month (or higher, depending on your income). Because Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies, the premiums can be higher or lower, depending on the plan options you choose.

Keep in mind that, on average, the typical Medicare beneficiary spends over $5,300 out of pocket per year on premiums and services, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, so it pays to compare your plan choices carefully. You also may want to consider a Medicare supplement, or Medigap, insurance plan to help pay coinsurance and deductibles.

In the end, make sure to review all of the information on Medicare.gov and choose the option that works best for your own situation.

4. Consider Alternate Income Streams

If you haven’t saved as much as you’d like for retirement by your 60s, you’re not alone. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 72 percent of Baby Boomers have less than $300,000 set aside for retirement.

In this scenario, you may need to think about how you can add to your retirement income, aside from Social Security. Delaying retirement is one option; 74 percent of Americans now say they plan to work past retirement age, according to Gallup’s Economy and Personal Finance survey. Cutting back to part-time hours at your current job, or starting a side hustle, is a way to supplement your cash flow if you’re worried about draining your assets.

The goals described here, and throughout this series, are designed to connect together into a cohesive financial self-care plan. As you check each of them off the list, remember that taking care of your financial well-being is an ongoing process, as you navigate the years that lie ahead.

Over the course of your life, your finances can vary greatly and what’s most important to you may evolve as you move from your 20s to your 60s and beyond. This series is designed to help you build a blueprint for practicing financial self-care through the various stages of your life. Creating plans to improve or stabilize your money situation and reviewing them regularly may help you reach your final objectives with less stress and more security.

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