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Planning for retirement

Retirement planning: What to do

You're in the homestretch! The 5 to 10 years before you retire is a critical time for planning to meet your goal.
4 minute read

See how you could benefit from expert advice

We believe anyone can be a successful investor by following some basic principles.

But even if you've been investing solo for decades, think about whether you might benefit from advice as you begin planning for retirement. During this time, you'll be making some very important decisions that could make or break your retirement timeline.

Get your retirement plan

How to retire

If you feel confident you can handle retirement planning on your own, here's your checklist of things to do.

See when you can realistically retire

It's not a simple question to answer, but running some numbers will give you a good idea about where you stand.

Find out when you might have enough to retire

Learn how medical care could affect your expenses

Many of your day-to-day expenses in retirement will be similar to those you have currently. But one expense you'll have to think about is your medical insurance.

Learn more about health care costs in retirement

Learn how Social Security timing will affect your income

You can start collecting Social Security payments at age 62, but that's not the whole story. See how a variety of options and strategies could affect your retirement income.

See how your retirement age affects your Social Security benefits

Make a plan to pay off your debt

You may decide to retire before all your debt—for example, your mortgage—is paid off, and that's okay. Just make sure you understand the implications and have a plan to pay it off.

See how paying off debt can affect your retirement lifestyle

Keep your plan on track

As you get closer to retiring, make sure you're doing everything you can to set your savings up for success.

Set up your savings to get you to your goal

We're here to help

Talk with one of our investment specialists

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time

We're here to help

Talk with one of our investment specialists

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time


Facing some big retirement choices? If you're confronted with decisions about retirement sooner than you'd expected, we can help. Our advisors can guide you on the best choices for you.

Get your retirement plan

Where does retirement fit into your priorities?

See how to juggle multiple financial goals


Vanguard research

Get more from Vanguard. Call 855-850-6972 to speak with an investment professional.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

Vanguard's advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc. ("VAI"), a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company ("VNTC"), a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.

The services provided to clients will vary based upon the service selected, including management, fees, eligibility, and access to an advisor. Find VAI's Form CRS and each program's advisory brochure here for an overview.

VAI and VNTC are subsidiaries of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and affiliates of Vanguard Marketing Corporation. Neither VAI, VNTC, nor its affiliates guarantee profits or protection from losses.