The farewell party with colleagues is organized, the last project is about to hit the home straight and the joy of having more free time increases: If you are already starting to cross out the days leading up to retirement in your calendar, you should hold on. Because there is still a lot to do before retirement and, above all, many forms to fill out – starting with the pension application and powers of attorney to the will. Which items should not be missing on the to-do list:
# 1 apply for a pension
If you want to retire, you not only have to inform your employer, but also the German Pension Insurance (DRV). Because the deposited money does not automatically flow into the account. To ensure that the first pension payment arrives on time, employees should submit the application at least three months before retirement. The DRV offers an online checklist with documents that employees must submit – this includes, for example, the children’s birth certificates and certificates of education.
# 2 Cash drop before retirement
With retirement, retirees can expect not only more free time, but also less money in their account. Future retirees should therefore ask themselves a few questions: How much pension do I get? What do I need more money for in the future? Can I still afford the rent? Anyone who finds out early on that the bill is not working can still take countermeasures and cut their expenses. For example, if the future pensioner still has a loan to pay off, he can agree a lower monthly rate with the bank. Paying off then takes longer, but the retirees have more money for the nice things.
# 3 Rethink your investment strategy
Anyone who has invested a lot in stocks up to now should rethink their investment strategy. Basically, the closer you get to retirement, the fewer risks the investor should take. Asset managers advise selling volatile products such as shares in good stock market phases and reallocating the capital that has become free into safer forms of investment such as government bonds. In addition, retirees have to decide whether they want to use up their wealth completely by the time they die or leave something to their children – that too has an impact on the investment strategy. If in doubt, it is advisable to visit an investment advisor.
# 4 settle estate
Wealthy people should think about what to bequeath to whom at an early stage. If you want to avoid legal succession, you have to draw up a will. The document must either be written and signed by hand or notarized. But be careful: If the will of the deceased deviates from the applicable inheritance law, this can cause disputes in the family. Close relatives such as children and spouses are entitled to at least a compulsory portion of the inheritance – regardless of whether they are in the will or not.
# 5 Living will
At the latest at an advanced age, everyone should have completed an advance directive. With this document, patients determine what doctors have to do when they can no longer decide for themselves. Alternatively, pension providers can authorize a specific person to make decisions on their behalf. The earlier retirees take care of such a disposition, the better, advise consumer advocates. Because not only old age, but also accidents and serious illnesses can suddenly tear a person from life.