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When you were younger, retirement probably seemed like a far-off destination that you were never really going to reach. But now, here you are, approaching the end of your career in a couple of years, and you are quickly coming to realize that major changes are just around the corner. 

If you have been socking away part of your earnings into tax-deferred accounts for years (good for you!) but haven’t revisited those funds in awhile, they’re probably in need of some adjustment. (See 6 Planning Tips for Your Final Working Years for suggestions.) And if you’ve had a fairly laissez-faire attitude toward your savings plan, you’re likely asking yourself a million questions now, such as whether you need to reallocate your portfolio, what you will do with your retirement savings after you stop working and how you can draw out your savings so that you pay the least amount of tax.

Although your final year of employment will probably require the most tangible action, you may need to spend time during the 12 months leading up to that last year going over and fine-tuning both your immediate and long-term financial plans. This could be a good time to enlist a professional who can help you craft a written financial plan and identify the primary and secondary objectives that you have for your money. (See 5 Things to Ask Before Hiring a Financial Advisor for more on this topic.)

Don’t wait to research your options; you will need to think through a number of details beforehand in order to position yourself for success. This tutorial is designed to help you address the common issues that most preretirees face as they prepare to transition into the next stage of their life.

Take Stock of Where You Are