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5 Things To Do 5 Years Before Retirement

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It sometimes seems as if we spend our entire working lives saving and planning for retirement but the

real preparation happens in the five years before your chosen retirement date. Here are five things you

should consider doing within the five years leading up to your ultimate retirement.


1. Meet with a tax advisor. By the time you’re five years out from retirement, you and a tax advisor

will have a far better idea of what your tax burden might be once you finally leave work. Meeting

with a tax advisor will help you create a plan to minimize taxes potentially by withdrawing from

nontaxable accounts and insurance policies first.

2. Decide what to do with your Social Security. As we’ve discussed in prior posts, you have many

options when it comes to taking your Social Security—some resulting in far more income than

others. When you’re five years out from retirement, it’s a good time to run all the numbers for the

various scenarios and decide on the best way to maximize your Social Security income.

3. Start getting in shape. Improving your physical fitness not only helps reduce your future health

expenses but it also improves your long-term mobility, balance and well-being. Now, while you’re

still covered by your employer’s health plan, it’s a good time to talk to your doctor and start on a

diet and exercise plan as an investment in your health and comfort throughout retirement. It’s also

a good time to take care of any dental work you need done and get your glasses prescription


4. Rebalance your portfolio. At this point, you’re heading out of the accumulation phase and into

the income and preservation one. It’s time to talk to your advisors about the best ways to preserve

the savings you’ve accumulated and generate a lifetime income.

5. Create your postretirement budget. In order for your savings to last and your postretirement

income to be sufficient, you have to create a plan to control your spending after retirement. After

meeting with your tax advisor and creating a plan for long-term income management, you and your

spouse can sit down and create a budget that lasts.

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