Nearing Retirement

YOU CAN LEARN MORE about preparing for retirement and generating retirement income in the chapter on retirement. But here are some additional steps you might take in the year or two before you quit your job:

Check the employee handbook. By delaying retirement by just a few weeks or months, you may qualify to get cashed out on vacation days for the current year or to receive money held in the company’s deferred compensation plan. You might also become vested for a portion of your employer’s matching contribution to the 401(k).

Exercise employee stock options. You may have been awarded options years ago and never given them much thought, perhaps because the amount involved was small and the stock hasn’t been much of a performer. Still, the options may be worth a modest sum, so be sure to exercise them before you quit.

See the doctor and dentist. If you have good medical and dental coverage through your current employer, get health issues tackled now, before you retire.

Refinance your mortgage. Ideally, you should get your mortgage paid off before you retire. But if that won’t happen any time soon, it may be worth refinancing. It’ll be easier to get approved for the loan if you still have a job and a regular income.

Set up a home equity line of credit. With any luck, you’ll never have to use it. But it could come in handy if you suddenly need cash—and, as with a refinancing, it’s a lot easier to get approved for a home equity line of credit while you still have a regular paycheck coming in.

Next: Elderly Relatives

Previous: Working Abroad

Articles: Check Before Leaving, What We Lose, When to Retire, On Your Way Out and As the Years Go By

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