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Planning to Retire Soon? Make a Retirement Planning Checklist

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Retirement Planning: 1 to 3 Years Before Retirement, Part 1
Assemble Your Retirement Plan

  1. Learn the details. Fidelity recommends working with your employer for retirement planning, to clarify the details of your benefits and the decisions you need to make, including your payout options. Keep in mind that some decisions cannot be changed once you have retired.
  2. Create a retirement budget. Map your retirement planning fundamentals, including a detailed plan of your estimated expenses. These plans will determine your lifestyle, so be sure to include inflation costs in your retirement budget.

    If the lifestyle you want will cost more than you expect, you may need to consider working part-time during retirement, reducing expenses, or postponing your retirement date to meet your goals.

  3. Develop your retirement income stream. Create a retirement planning strategy that covers your expenses.

    Know what your Social Security payments, and pension and survivor benefits will be.

    Determine how much you need to withdraw from your portfolio annually, being as conservative as possible, particularly in the early retirement years.

    Fidelity suggests that withdrawing more than 4 percent increases the likelihood that retirees will deplete their assets prematurely.

    Assess when you can withdraw money from your retirement accounts without penalty (most individuals can withdraw from tax-deferred savings plans without penalty at age 59½).

    Fidelity recommends that you consider whether an annuity may make sense to supplement your retirement income.

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