Smiling man and woman in their kitchen talking and drinking coffee

Close to retirement


If you're 1 – 5 years away from retirement, it can be a time of excitement and inspiration as your retirement vision comes into focus. But it can be an uncertain time, as well, since questions arise as to whether you're financially prepared to retire. With planning and insight, you can better prepare to retire on your terms.

Get prepared

People counting down to retirement tend to look forward to a new chapter of their lives. But they have worries, too. Economic factors are contributing to uncertainty in today's environment and people are living much longer lives, on average, so preparing for a retirement that may last 30 years or more is complicated.

People heading into retirement are asking:

  • Will I have enough money to live on my terms?
  • Will I outlive my money?
  • Will I be able to keep my lifestyle in retirement?

There simply is no substitute for planning and making empowered financial decisions about your retirement. For example, if you're concerned about outliving your money, make a thoughtful, detailed projection of how much money you will spend. Devise a withdrawal strategy for your retirement accounts that is tax-efficient and will help extend the life of your financial assets.

To find answers, you have to decode your finances

With this approach, you can address doubts and help ensure you're on the right track. You can plan to live the life you want, with confidence.

Retirement milestones: Mark your calendar

Taking advantage of important financial milestones is key to a confident retirement. Meeting with your advisor beforehand gives you time to weigh all your options as deadlines approach. To avoid delayed benefits or tax penalties, be sure to mark your calendar to align actual dates with the milestones.

Age Milestone
50 You can make “catchup contributions" to eligible retirement plans.
55 You may be able to make penalty-free withdrawals from qualified plans, such as 401(k)s.
59 ½ You can start making penalty-free withdrawals from qualified retirement plans, such as IRAs.
62 You may begin taking Social Security withdrawals at a reduced-benefit amount.
65 You are eligible to apply for Medicare beginning three months before you turn 65 through the three months following your birthday.
66 – 67 You may begin taking full Social Security benefits, depending on your birth year.
70 You can now collect Social Security at maximum benefits.
72 You must begin taking required minimum distributions from most retirement accounts.