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Transitioning to Retirement


In past articles we have hit on things like, Social Security, saving, budgeting, investing, and personal finance. Today, we want to talk about retiring and more specifically suggestions for transitioning to retirement.

Your retirement planning strategy may change as you near the end of your career, but it doesn’t ever stop — even after you retire. There are some important things to think about at eight different ages as you progress to and through retirement.

  • Age 50 – At this point in your working career you might be ending the spending years, right in the thick of it, or somewhere in between. It is important to remember the more you save for retirement, the more you will have. At age 50, you are now of age to utilize the catch-up contribution that will allow you to save more than the standard IRS limit ($19,000 – 2019) via catch-up ($6,000 – 2019), on the last leg to retirement.

  • Age 59½ – Congratulations, you have reached early retirement age. This is the age at which you can retire early and dip into your retirement account with an early-withdrawal penalty. Some plans allow this to occur without having to leave the workplace by having an in-service distribution clause. This can be useful for those semi-retiring.

  • Age 62 – Congratulations! You may be eligible for Social Security. But think twice before taking Social Security now. It could mean a 25-30% reduction in the amount you'll receive. If you’re still working, the amount could be reduced even more. For each year you wait to claim Social Security your benefit can increase by 7-8%, capping out at age 70.1

  • Age 65 – Here’s to your health. Consider signing up for Medicare. Don’t delay — missing your window could mean higher Medicare Part B and Part D premiums and lead to your supplemental coverage being denied.1

  • Age 66 – Being older has its advantages. Those born between 1943 and 1954 are eligible for full Social Security benefits. If you were born between 1955 and 1959, you’ll have to wait a few months longer. You’ll reach full eligibility between two and 10 months after your 66th birthday.1

  • Age 67 – If you were born in 1960 or later, you’ve reached the magic number for full Social Security benefits. This is also the age at which your Social Security benefits are no longer reduced if you’re still working.1

  • Age 70 – Go ahead, you’ve earned it. Consider taking your Social Security benefit now. Be sure to take your benefit now if you haven’t already. Your benefit will not continue to increase if you wait longer.

  • Age 70½ – You need to start taking annual required minimum distributions (required by the IRS) from your retirement account. Make sure to do this to avoid any penalties (potentially up to 50% of the distribution).

As you progress towards retirement, we hope that these suggestions will be a guide to you as you navigate new territory, retirement.

1: Information was taken from

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