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Q.

I’m getting ready to retire. What do I need to do?

A.

All your hard-earning savings are about to pay off. It’s time to think about turning your savings into income that lasts for the rest of your life:

Make a plan for what is coming:
  1. Make a budget. Manage your cash flow and expenses.
  2. Is your housing right? Nothing affects your finances as much as housing.
  3. Be prepared for unexpected expenses. Research long-term care, disability, and life insurance.
Know your options:

Once you reach age 59 ½, you can withdraw money from your 401(k) without incurring the 10% early withdrawal penalty. You can roll it into an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), take the money as a lump sum (and pay income taxes on it), buy an annuity, or leave the money in the plan to continue to grow.

When you reach age 70 ½, you must start taking distributions each year, unless you still work for the employer that offers the plan. These are called “required minimum distributions” (RMDs).