Your retirement checklist probably isn't much fun to fill out — but the potential benefit in doing so is hard to overstate.

With that in mind, here are four steps to take as you prepare for retirement, to help ensure you don't outlive your money.

1. Make Sure You’re Ready

I mean this on a couple of levels.

First, make sure you’re financially ready. According to the Society of Actuaries, a woman who is 65 years old today is now expected to live until she’s 88.8; for a 65-year-old man it’s 86.6. For both men and women, that’s 2.2 years longer than in 2000. We expect this trend to continue – so you need to make sure you‘re not underestimating how much money you’re going to need.

Second, do you have a plan for how you’ll spend your days? You’ve been working hard for decades and deserve to enjoy retirement, so consider what you want to do when you suddenly have 40 or 50 hours a week of free time.

2. Talk With Your Spouse

Does your spouse have the dream for retirement?

You’ve probably had some general discussions about where you’d like to live or places you want to visit. But what about everyday life? One of you may be excited to travel the world while the other just wants to curl up with a good book.

Make sure you both have the right expectations before it’s too late.

3. Set Up a Systematic Withdrawal Plan

Arrange to receive monthly income from your investment portfolio. Don’t take dividends in cash; reinvest them back into your portfolio and set up systematic withdrawal plan instead.

How much should your withdrawals be? That depends on how much you need to supplement Social Security and pension income. You might also have to withdraw a certain amount because of required minimum distribution rules. A good advisor can help you with all of this.

4. Decide When to File for Social Security

The goal is to maximize your Social Security benefits. But the best course of action depends on your age, health, income, marital status, spouse’s income, and the age disparity between you and your spouse. Talk to a financial advisor who’s an expert in this area.

And if you need help in taking these steps for retirement, call our office at (888) PLAN-RIC or reach out to us to set up a meeting.