Preparing For Retirement

  • Call your benefits department and make sure you understand what retirement benefits you are being offered.
  • If you have a pension, you should run a pension calculation for the date of retirement. Many companies offer this online. If not, you might need to call and have a manual calculation done.
  • Print a copy of your most recent 401(k) statement. Make sure that it includes the value and the distribution/allocation of funds.
  • Print a recent copy of your other investment accounts, checking accounts, savings accounts, etc.
  • Call your benefits department and ask them to send you information about how various types of insurance — health, life, long-term care, disability, etc. — work in retirement.
  • Create a list of your debt, including principal balances, interest rates, payment schedules and expected payoff period.
  • Create a good representation of your last six to 12 months' worth of spending.
  • Print or obtain a copy of your pay stub.
  • Schedule meetings with multiple financial advisors — preferably three — in order to gain perspective on the array of options available to you, and be sure you are referred to these advisors by people you trust.
  • During your first meeting, communicate your concerns about risk and your goals for retirement, and bring along any pertinent documents to help the team create a proposal.
  • After a proposal is presented, you should ask for three references and follow up with each of them.