Countdown to Retirement: 5 Years Away

For a smooth ride to retirement, take these financial steps when you have 5 years to go.

At 5 years from retirement, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. First thing? Check in with Social Security. Even if you’ve saved diligently, Social Security benefits will probably account for more than one-third of your retirement income. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for an online account to get a projection of your benefit. It will be based on your highest 35 years of earnings. Review your earnings history to make sure you’re receiving credit for every year you worked. Earnings could be missing from your record if an employer reported your earnings using the wrong name or Social Security number.

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Eileen Ambrose
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Ambrose joined Kiplinger in June 2017 from AARP, where she was a writer and senior money editor for more than three years. Before that, she was a personal finance columnist and reporter at The Baltimore Sun, and a reporter and assistant business editor at The Indianapolis Star. Ambrose has a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and a bachelor's degree in art history from Indiana University.