Retirement, Retirement Journey, Social Security

The 4 Years before Retirement

lose up photo of green flower
Photo by Vraj Shah

Spoiler Alert. We now have a date.  My husband is officially retiring in 4 years and we are busy gearing up for the day when he will no longer be getting a paycheck.  My husband’s retirement age will be 60!

I guess that doesn’t qualify us for the F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement, but it sure beats waiting until 70 or beyond to retire.

I have been reading a lot of articles on pre-retirement planning.  While I may not have anything extra to add, I thought it would be advantageous to share how we will be preparing for our retirement.  I will document our personal journey in this space as a way to keep me accountable.

For us, we have concluded that there are five things we need to consider before we retire.  In general terms, they are:

  1. Our Health – what will our anticipated well-being be when we retire – and what we will do in the next five years to make that the best it can be;
  2. Our Wealth – what we will have potentially saved in our retirement accounts, how we will navigate withdrawals and when we will be the most advantageous time to take our social security benefit;
  3. Our Expenses – what our retirement expenses will look like including medical expenses;
  4. Our home – where we will live out our retirement years and if we will move, downsize or stay put; and
  5. Our Hobbies & Interests – what we will do with all that free time.

In future posts, I will be sharing how we will be preparing and addressing each of the above five considerations.   I hope you’ll join me.

If you are thinking about retiring, how are you preparing?  If you are already retired, am I missing something?


2 thoughts on “The 4 Years before Retirement”

  1. Hi Sharon, I was glad to see that you are posting again. We are right there with you, my hubby is planning to retire in 5 years, when he is 65. God willing. Health care is a big unknown, we do not have retiree health care, that is why he is waiting. Plus I am a breast cancer survivor.
    We paid off our mortgage earlier in the year, and are saving that money in our Roth accounts now. I will be interested to follow along on your journey. I know you live in a high cost of living area. We used to live in the same area when we were younger, but moved back to the Midwest in the mid ’90s. I thought the 5 areas you mentioned in this post are similar to what we are looking at also.

    1. Hi Chris,

      HealthCare is the wild card. We will be using COBRA to start (at least for the first 18 mos) until we get our bearings. I’m taking my time with the posts, as they need to be researched first, to add value. Right now we are looking into Social Security amounts and how retiring at 60 (7 years before we start taking) will affect what we bring home. I guess we shall see.

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