If you are planning to retire this year, then you have a lot to prepare for. To help out, MSN Money has put together a list of all the things you should be aware of. I've included a section of their article below, or you can click here for the full list.
Keep up with Obamacare
The ramifications of this major legislation from the Obama administration may have a substantial impact upon the type and cost of health care that retirees will receive in the coming years. However, the shift of power to the Republicans in the November 2010 elections may ultimately overturn this recently-signed legislation.
Maintain the status quo in IRAs and retirement plans
Congress decided in December to freeze all retirement plan contribution limits and other thresholds through 2012. Those who need to begin taking distributions or roll over their plans can now use the current limits to compute their withdrawals accordingly.
Alter your estate plan if necessary
Taxpayers were allowed to leave an unlimited amount of assets to heirs free of estate tax in 2010. For the next two years, a $5 million dollar limit per taxpayer will be imposed ($10 million for married couples). Those with credit shelter trusts or other sophisticated estate planning tools may need to alter the amounts in these trusts or the level of death benefits in their life insurance policies accordingly.
Tiptoe back into the market
Those who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the markets to calm down may want to consider dipping a foot back into equities in the coming year. A dollar-cost averaging program may be good way to do this, as this will allow investors to take advantage of continued market swings by purchasing fewer shares when prices are high and more when they fall.