Advice: Retirement Readiness – Nearing Retirement Age 51+

Key Takeaway

Anticipating the challenges we face at various life stages can help us plan for a more comfortable retirement. As you get closer to retirement, it’s time to fine-tune your plan and make changes to ensure you reach your goals.

Here are some of the obstacles you might face in your final steps toward retirement:

  •  Failing to Revisit Your Plan – Neglecting to reassess your personal situation regularly can affect the success of your retirement plan. As the markets shift and your circumstances change, your plan needs to change with it.
  •  Estimating Retirement Income Needs – It’s important to have a retirement goal in mind. You will need to make assumptions about the expected growth of your investments, inflation, and how long you’ll be retired.
  •  Health Problems – As you and/or your partner age, health care costs may increase, making it harder to save. Declining health can also affect how long you’re able to work.

Action Steps

  1. 1

    Adhere to Your Asset Allocation.  Annually reevaluate your personal risk tolerance, and keep to the allocation suggested by your retirement materials and tools or subject matter experts.

  2. 2

    Consider Working Longer. Calculate what working longer would contribute to your retirement savings and how delaying tapping into your savings might increase your retirement plan balance.

  3. 3

    Set a Retirement Timeline.  Examine your work commitment well in advance to determine how much longer you will work, who to notify, and the impact on your employer, co-workers, and family. Make decisions on when you will begin taking Social Security, visit the Social Security Administration website and create an account for more details, including estimated benefits.

  4. 4

    Practice Flexibility.  Continue to monitor how your health, the economy, job market, and other variables, such as planned retirement activities, might impact your planned retirement date. Be prepared to make necessary adjustments to your plans.


  • Implement the advice of your financial advisor for asset allocation, estate planning, and tax and Social Security considerations.
  • Anticipate and plan for retirement expenses, including travel, medical, and possible relocation.
  • Keep contributing to your plan. If you’re over age 50, your plan may also allow you to make additional catch-up contributions.