Retirement planning should start today because when the time comes that you can’t work like you used to, your finances are going to change a lot.

You might have questions such as what your end retirement savings goal should look like, the kind of investments that would help you reach that goal, what kind of life or health insurance and savings you should use and so much more.

These are all things that an experienced financial advisor can answer for you, but there are basics to retiring that you can follow. Several goals should be basic for every retiree.

1. Get A Plan For A Debt Free Retirement

With living expenses, healthcare expenses, estate planning, and other miscellaneous retirement items that come up, the less debt you retire with the better.

While some debt, such as using credit cards and managing them well, or having a mortgage you can afford can be good in the prime of life; when you retire things could change. Credit cards, auto loan debts and business related debts that may affect your personal assets should be eliminated first so you don’t have to deal with collection calls or having to dip into your savings for debt payments.

Plus you want to make sure that once you transfer personal assets down to your loved ones that they can inherit them without risk of forfeiting them to any creditors.

2. Figure Out What Kind Of Insurance You’ll Need

Once you get to retirement and have to consider how you’ll be protected in terms of physical health and personal assets, and what kinds of insurance you’ll need.

Health insurance or out of pocket healthcare costs are usually where you have to really be prepared for the unexpected. You’ll also still need to factor in homeowner’s or renter’s insurance with possibly an additional coverage for valuable items.

The biggest question is often whether or not you should sell or keep a life insurance policy. A life insurance policy such as an indexed universal life policy could actually be beneficial to you even in retirement and may even cover certain healthcare costs, or could allow you to borrow from it in certain circumstances. But there could be situations where you would be better off selling your life insurance policy through a settlement company.

3. Consider Rolling A 401k Into A Gold IRA

A 401k that your employer offers is one way to have funds already being invested and then paid out to you once you’re ready to retire. But with fees and lack of control on what you’ll invest the funds in, you may decide an IRA is better where you do have control over whether you want to invest in ETFs, stocks, bonds, mutual funds or even real estate and gold.

A 401k to gold IRA rollover can be done through an IRS approved custodian, and a direct rollover is usually best in order to avoid penalties.

Also, a gold IRA that invests in physical gold will also require the gold to be transferred to an IRS approved secure facility where it has to be kept until you authorize the custodian to sell or distribute it to you once you’ve reached the 59 1/2 age required to do so without being hit with penalties.

Investing in a physical gold IRA may not be for you, but during times when the economy is troubled, your retirement portfolio can be better hedged against losses.

4. Be Careful What Kind Of Lifestyle You Choose To Live

Remember, as much as you may have saved for a comfortable retirement, living without an income is still going to mean that your wealth will have limits once you get there.

While there isn’t anything wrong with sometimes heading out to your favorite golf club or taking your spouse to that dream seaside resort you always wanted to go to, you’ll need to be careful how you manage these activities.

Yes, even retirees need to have a budget to know what things like their favorite vacations and eating out at their favorite restaurants are going to do their budget.

Retirement can be a great time to take the fruits of what you’ve worked hard for, as well as having more time to spend with family and friends. But it’s important that you have your financial roadmap completely ready so that when that day comes, you know exactly where your money is going.