Retirement Planning

Within 5 Years of Retirement

Information and Resources for Within 5 Years of Retirement

To Do List for Within 5 Years of Retirement

Focus in on your Retirement Planning

Define your retirement lifestyle. Will you continue to work (encore career, part-time or volunteer work)? How will you structure your time? Will you retire in place or move?

Choose your target retirement date. When will you leave current employment to retire?


Gather Information about Medicare and Social Security

Learn about Medicare and assess your future health care needs. Visit learn about Medicare and the difference between Part A, B, & D. Watch eFiles for Life Planning Seminars on Medicare.

Learn about the state-sponsored health benefits for retirees who are Medicare-eligible and NonMedicare eligible individuals. If you are Medicare-eligible, compare the state-sponsored supplemental health care plan (Medigap) to other Medigap plans offered. Visit other plans.

Investigate Long Term Care, if you don’t already have a plan. Information may be found on our Long-Term Care Insurance page. Consider funding long term care insurance, if you haven’t done so already. There is a 50 percent chance that today’s 65 year-old couples could live well past the age of 90. Rising health care costs, coupled with inadequate health care coverage, can have a devastating impact on your retirement income plan.

Understand Social Security. Create an account at Review your Social Security “Personal Earnings and Benefit Statement.” Find out the benefits due to you, and the steps you need to take to activate your payments upon retirement. Determine your optimal age to begin taking payments; you may want to consider delaying the age at which you collect in order to increase your monthly payment

Focus on Financial Planning

Assess the financial risks of retirement.As you put a retirement plan in place, understand the five financial risks that can impact your retirement:

Calculate your living expenses in retirement or estimate your financial needs

Gather information regarding the financial aspects of the retirement process. Determine if you will need an income stream beyond VRS or ORP, Social Security benefits and other savings. Determine potential gaps in estimated retirement income and expenses.

Catch up on savings. Learn the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limits for contributions for investing in your Traditional IRA and/or Roth IRA accounts.

Familiarize yourself with your financial investment options for retirement. If you have accounts with TIAA-CREF or Fidelity, schedule a one-on-one appointment with a TIAA-CREF or Fidelity consultant. They come to Mason Campuses each month or you may schedule an off-campus meeting.

Meet with a Benefits Administrator at Masonregarding VRS payment options (lump sum, annuity), continuing state health insurance and other details related to retiring from Mason. Call 703-993-2600.

Attend Next Steps: Plan for Your Retirement, the day-long pre-retirement seminar provided by HR & Payroll’s Learning Team (Topics covered: Retiring from Mason, VRS, ORP, Social Security, Medicare and supplemental health insurance). Call 703-993-6764 to find out when it is scheduled.

This is a good time to take care of important documents. Update your will, power of attorney and beneficiaries on retirement accounts, savings and checking accounts.


Assemble Your Retirement Plan

Review your retirement benefits. Schedule an appointment with a Mason Benefits Administrator in Human Resources, to learn what actions need to be taken for a successful retirement from Mason, and what resources are available to provide support and guidance. Talk with a Mason Benefits Administrator to determine which benefits you will continue to receive in retirement from Mason, and familiarize yourself with how they will work. Be sure to factor in your spouse/significant other’s benefits as well, where applicable.

Work with your Mason Benefits Administrator, TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity financial counselors to clarify the details of your benefits and the decisions you need to make, including your retirement plan payout options. Keep in mind that some decisions cannot be changed once you have retired.

Refine your retirement budget. Map your retirement planning fundamentals, including a detailed plan of your estimated expenses. These plans will determine your lifestyle, so be sure to include inflation costs in your retirement budget. If the lifestyle you want will cost more than you expect, you may need to consider working part-time during retirement, reducing expenses, or postponing your retirement date to meet your goals.

Revisit your retirement asset allocation. Check the asset allocation of all savings and investment accounts you expect to use to generate retirement income. Financial advisors suggest that workers nearing retirement who are still investing in a 401(k) or IRA may want to consider maintaining a diversified portfolio with a mix of investments. A balanced portfolio that includes a significant portion of equities can help promote potential future growth, and protect against inflation, rising health care costs and longer life spans.

Develop your retirement income stream. Create a retirement planning strategy that covers your expenses. Know what your Social Security payments, and other sources of retirement income (pension, 403b, 401K, etc) will be. Determine how much you need to withdraw from your portfolio annually, being as conservative as possible, particularly in the early retirement years. Assess when you can withdraw money from your retirement accounts without penalty (most individuals can withdraw from tax-deferred savings plans without penalty at age 59½).

Meet with your Benefits Administrator to go over some of the decisions you will make regarding your retirement. Call the HR & Payroll office at 703-993-2600 and ask for the Benefits Team to arrange an appointment.

Attend "Next Steps: Plan for Your Retirement", a one-day seminar hosted by HR & Payroll and offered in April and November each year

Retirement Resources for Every Age

Retirement Centered Organizations