Retirement Road Map: Steps to Take When You’re 10 Years from Retiring

You’re 10 years out from retirement, and you’re looking forward to travels and grandchildren. But don’t coast yet. This last decade is crucial to achieving the retirement you envision, and mistakes at this time could hurt your ability to achieve that vision. Over the next three blogs, we’ll look at what you should do one, five and 10 years out from your retirement date. Let’s start with 10 years:

Ramp Up Your Savings

In retirement, you make a transition from saving money to using that money for income. You want enough money to live comfortably in a retirement that could last 30 years or more. To take full advantage of your saving opportunities, we recommend talking to a financial advisor to figure out a target savings amount. Then consider whether these ideas can help get you to your target:

  • Study your budget. Figure out where you can adjust to spend less and save more.
  • Take advantage of catch-up contributions. Once you reach 50, you can set aside even more in your retirement accounts. Take advantage of the opportunity if you can.
  • Max out your HSA contributions. With the increased cost of health care, maxing out your HSA and avoiding withdrawals could increase your ability to pay for medical care in retirement.
  • Consider delaying retirement. If you’re short on savings, delaying retirement can give you more time to achieve the retirement you want.

Get a Handle on Debt

The decade before you retire is an opportune time to take a look at your debt and determine what you can pay off. Start with your high-interest credit card and installment debt, and pay it off as quickly as possible. You can also determine if paying off your mortgage before you retire would be a good move for your situation.

Analyze Portfolio Risk

As investors approach retirement, they generally move from a portfolio with riskier investments to a portfolio with more conservative, stable investments—but the amount of risk you should take is unique to you. We recommend talking to a financial advisor to determine the proper ratio of equities to bonds to support your goals.

Manage Your Career

You may be close to retirement, but you still need to work. Forging strong relationships and skill sets can reduce the chance of losing your job. In addition, if you’re planning on an encore career, now is the time to figure out what that would entail. That way, you won’t be set back by any advance requirements, like a college course or internship.

Estimate Your Social Security Income

If you haven’t already, visit the Social Security Administration’s website at to estimate the benefits you’ll receive. You can include these expected benefits in your retirement income projections and saving calculations.

Coordinate with Your Spouse

In planning for your future, you and your spouse will want to work through all these steps together to determine the strategies that can help you best as a couple. Consider scenarios where one of you works longer than the other to see how those strategies could ease your income burden.

Retirement planning is a complex process. We hope these steps will help you as you start the countdown to retirement. If you would like some additional guidance, we’d be happy to talk with you. Our comprehensive retirement planning can help provide confidence that you’re on the right path to a comfortable retirement.

Retirement Roadmap