For Mark Roberts’ Use: During your working years, much of your focus probably revolved around meeting a retirement savings goal. Once you retire, though, your focus will shift to strategies that will help that money last (hopefully) for the rest of your life. Now that your focus is on budgeting and spending, rather than saving, you could fall into some unexpected pitfalls.

Con artists often take advantage of retirees looking to extend the life of their savings, and sometimes we can simply make our own mistakes as we become forgetful. Unexpected medical dramas can even pose a threat to your finances, as family members struggle to help you in your time of need.

As you transition into retirement, consider the following four steps to protect your retirement fund.

Designate a power of attorney. If you are ever mentally or physically impaired, this person is legally allowed to perform important financial and legal tasks for you. Make sure that your power of attorney is aware of your financial plans and any other important wishes, and list this person with your doctor’s office as an emergency contact.

Streamline your finances. It can become difficult to manage multiple accounts in retirement, and there’s probably less need to spread out your assets now. Consolidating everything into one or two accounts can make it much easier to oversee your money. Consider, also, that holding multiple debit and credit cards puts you at increased risk of fraud. You might not notice a missing card until it’s too late, so having fewer of them can prevent theft and fraud.

Set up instant notifications. If your bank account offers email alerts, sign up for this service. You and your power of attorney should receive instant notifications any time your account is subject to a large transaction. This way you will both know right away if there is a problem.

Meet with a financial advisor regularly. You probably met with a financial advisor on a regular basis as you planned for retirement, but those meetings shouldn’t stop once you stop working! Call us to schedule an appointment, and we’ll keep in touch throughout your retirement years. Seeking expert advice on a regular basis is one of the best ways to keep your retirement plan healthy and intact.