Your pre-retirement planning checklist

You've worked hard to save for your future. Now it's time to make sure your transition into retirement goes as smoothly as possible. Consider these steps as you prepare to celebrate your last day of work.

Begin the countdown

3 months before you reach age 62

Visit the Social Security website ( or your local Social Security office to determine your benefit amount.

3 months before you reach age 65

Apply for Medicare.

18 months before retirement

Meet with a financial professional to review your investments alongside your current risk tolerance. This also may be a good time to find opportunities to pay off debt.

12 months before retirement

Meet with a human resources professional to discuss your company’s retirement policy and benefits, such as life insurance, long-term care insurance, and health insurance.

3 months before retirement

Meet with a financial professional to review withdrawal requirements, taxes, and strategies.

Finalize your transition plan

Being proactive as you approach retirement may help ensure that your wishes are respected. Make sure you’ve taken care of these five important details before the big day.

  1. Update your executor. Make sure people know where to find your will.
  2. Look into trusts. A financial professional can help you determine the best way to leave assets to minors.
  3. Check your beneficiary information. Updating your beneficiaries can help make sure retirement savings, insurance benefits, and financial accounts pass directly to heirs without going through probate court.
  4. Get a durable power of attorney. This gives someone permission to handle your estate, access your accounts, and make decisions if you’re temporarily incapacitated.
  5. Make sure your healthcare directives are updated. It’s important to clarify your wishes for medical treatment.
This material is provided by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN, and, in New York, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY, and their applicable affiliates (collectively referred to as “Lincoln”). This material is intended for general use with the public. Lincoln does not provide investment advice, and this material is not intended to provide investment advice. Lincoln has financial interests that are served by the sale of Lincoln programs, products and services.