To Do Checklist at 5 Years Before Retirement

The five years before retirement are probably the most critical there are in terms of getting ready for the big event. Here’s a quick list of some things to do when you believe you are five years away from retirement.
  • Meet with HR to verify creditable service.  You don’t want any surprises when you are 90 days away from retiring that your eligibility date isn’t what you thought it was.  Another reason is to make sure any military service you want to get credit for is has been added.
  • Envision what retirement “looks like” for you and if you are emotionally/mentally ready for that.  Some people’s identity is very interwoven with their work.  Are you going to be ok not having that be part of your life five days a week? Will your retirement be composed of leisure activities like golfing and gardening or will you volunteer and be active in clubs? Envision yourself in your new life.
  • Maximize your savings until you retire.  You are probably at your earnings peak in these last 5 years. Save as much as you can, because you won’t have the paycheck to fall back on once you are retired.
  • Assess your insurance needs.  You can obviously do away with disability insurance and most also do without life insurance. Look into Long-Term Care insurance and what your health care strategy is going to be going forward.
  • Determine how much money you need. This is the big one. Project your monthly expenses and then determine if the combination of Social Security, the Thrift Savings Plan, your CSRS/FERS annuity and any outside investments will get you where you need to be.  
I can help you map out a plan to assess your retirement readiness. Contact me to have a no-obligation review of your portfolio and a discussion of how I can help you achieve your goals. You can also visit my web site to find out more.

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