Throw out the mindset that retirement is an arbitrary age like 62 or 65. Instead, retirement should be the point at which you reach a certain level of financial security that will sustain you throughout your retirement years.
Financial security means a lot of things. Unless you are forced to retire due to health-related issues, pay off your mortgage, credit card debt and any student loan debt before you retire. Your assets will stretch a lot further if you don’t have to service debt.
If you’re not yet eligible for Medicare, make sure you have a plan as to how you’re going to pay for medical insurance before Medicare kicks in. Even if you’re over 65, health care expenses can take a big bite out of retirement income.
Work with a professional to find the best Medicare supplement for you. The cheapest policy is not going to do you any good if it doesn’t cover the needs that are likely for your particular situation. Medicare Part D, which covers prescriptions, is a great idea, especially as longevity increases the likelihood that you are going to be prescribed medications by your doctors to manage conditions brought on by aging.
Working with a financial advisor well before you retire will work to your advantage.