Preparing for retirement: What it takes.
The years leading up to retirement are crucial. Let’s make them count. Prepare now for the big decisions you’ll need to make so your transition is a smooth one.
Timing your retirement

Before setting a retirement date, estimate how much income you'll need to maintain the lifestyle you want. These checklists can help as you review your current financial status and goals.


Your checklist

  • If you aren’t already, save 15% or more of your income, including any employer match.
  • Factor in other sources of retirement income, including Social Security and possibly a pension, and view these sources as a household.
  • Visit to calculate your benefits based on your actual Social Security earnings record.
  • Use your current preretirement lifestyle and income to determine how much you’ll be spending in retirement.



Get a clearer picture

  • Consider catch-up contributions to help make up any savings gaps.


  • Estimate how health care costs could affect expenses in retirement.


  • See how your retirement age affects your Social Security benefits.
  • Consider whether to keep all existing retirement accounts separate or consolidate into one account. A rollover is one of several actions you can take.

It's almost time. Prepare now. Our retirement specialists can help.


T. Rowe Price Retirement Income 2020 Fund

Turn your investments into automatic income.

Choosing investments

Now’s the time to decide which accounts you will draw from first in retirement. In general, letting tax-deferred investments grow as long as possible is optimal for most people.


Start with regular, taxable accounts (mutual funds, individual securities) to benefit from lower capital gains rates.


Access tax-deferred accounts (IRAs or 401(k)s) where distributions are taxed as ordinary income.


Use assets from tax-free accounts (Roth 401(k)s, Roth IRAs) last, particularly if you hope to pass assets along to heirs.*

*Qualified distributions from a Roth account are generally tax-free once you reach age 59½ with an account that has been opened for at least five years.

Continuing to work

More than ever, people are easing into retirement by continuing to work part-time. Working longer allows you to build your nest egg. And, it gives you time to make adjustments and discover what lifestyle works best for you.

Staying on the job may also let you take advantage of needed benefits, such as health insurance, for as long as you can. Remember, Medicare doesn’t begin until age 65, and it won’t cover everything.

Making your money last

As you approach retirement, map out how you’ll spend your savings. As a starting point: We recommend an initial 4% withdrawal amount,* then adjusting that amount to account for inflation. Use the Retirement Income Calculator as a guide.

Applying the 4% rule and adjusting your spending along the way can help you weather the markets and plan for expenses in retirement.*

4% Graphic

*The 4% guideline is a starting point for those retiring at age 65. Initial amounts change depending on age.

All investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. Diversification cannot assure a profit or protect against loss in a declining market.

This material has been prepared by T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services, Inc., for general and educational purposes only. This material does not provide fiduciary recommendations concerning investments or investment management. T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services, Inc., its affiliates, and its associates do not provide legal or tax advice. Any tax-related discussion contained in this website, including any attachments/links, is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding any tax penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to any other party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Please consult your independent legal counsel and/or professional tax advisor regarding any legal or tax issues raised in this material.

Income for Retirement Income 2020 Fund is not guaranteed and is subject to change.