Not all of my clients are on the verge of retirement. Some have 10 or more years to go and are trying to get a head start. Others have already retired and are going back to retool their plans, working to get back on track, or checking to confirm that they are already doing the right things.

Here are some things that you can do in your run-up to retirement:

If you have more than 10 years to go before you retire:

  1. Book an appointment and let’s lay the foundations for your glide into retirement.
  2. Create some basic life plans to guide your financial plan. It is not too early to think about where you might live, how long you want to work, some bucket list items (you don’t have to wait for retirement to start these).
  3. Develop your financial plans to ensure that you have an investment, income and savings strategy in place
  4. Start thinking about work/life balance. You are likely entering your peak earning years and the tendency is often to sacrifice lifestyle for work advancement (especially if you are male).
  5. Review your insurance coverage to make sure that you have done enough to protect your family’s lifestyle and income.
  6. Create an estate plan, and ensure that your will, directives and trust documents are up to date.
  7. Make sure that regular health checkups and a healthy lifestyle are now part of your life.

Five to 10 years before retirement:

  1. If you haven’t put any of the above things in place, do so now.
  2. Revise your plans based on how close you are to retirement.
  3. Make sure you would be financially okay in the event of involuntary retirement.
  4. If you are planning to move or downsize, research possible locales, prices, amenities, etc. You want to have a fair idea of what you are facing.
  5. Agree with the general timing of your retirement with your spouse or partner.
  6. Start to think about retirement activities that you want to engage in and start incorporating them into your life now.
  7. Have a clear view of the financial resources that you may have as you start your next great adventure!

Five years to one year prior to retirement:

  1. Do the same planning activities as above, but review where you are now and take stock in your savings, investments, and income sources in retirement.
  2. Discuss your plans with your current employer.
  3. Reconsider the timing of your retirement if you need to, including working past your official retirement date.
  4. Think about work opportunities, new hobbies or new careers. Start today to incorporate some of these into your life.
  5. Think about your plans to replace or repair capital items such as your car, home, vacation home, etc.

Within one year of retirement:

Look at all of the above plans and review your situation based on your previous goals.
Have a thorough health checkup and ensure that your health coverage is up to date and sufficient.
You may be eligible for Social Security. Check out what your options are at a local SSA office.

Planning In Each Life Area

Your purpose in retirement is driven by your values and what “work” you will engage in during retirement. Your health, your friends and family, and your fun time will all impact your retirement in one way or another. And finally, your finances and financial comfort will help make it all happen.

Joseph F. Falbo, CFP®, AIF®, CRC® is an independent LPL financial advisor that helps grow and preserve clients’ wealth using cutting edge, customized, and comprehensive strategies. With over two decades of experience, Joe helps clients to pursue and retain the lifestyle they want in retirement. To discuss your retirement goals or any financial topic you want, schedule a 20-minute complimentary call. To learn more about Joe, please visit

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.