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Saving for Retirement

Countdown to Retirement

For a smooth ride to retirement, take these financial steps when you have 10 years, five years and one year to go.

Illustration by Paul Thurlby

For most of your life, retirement may seem so far off that you give it only a passing thought when glancing at your 401(k) statement. Your twenties, thirties and forties are likely preoccupied with more-pressing life events—building a career, getting married, buying a house, raising children and saving for college.

But once you enter your fifties and retirement is no longer a fuzzy concept looming on the horizon, it’s important to make sure you’ll be prepared for the day when you wrap up your career and move on to the next phase of your life. As retirement comes into focus, use this list of financial steps to follow 10 years, five years and one year before retirement to prepare for the transition. For each time frame, we’ve also listed key moves to make in your portfolio.

COUNTDOWN TO RETIREMENT: 10 Years Away | 5 Years Away | 1 Year Away