Four year-end tips for soon-to-be retirees

The year 2012 is coming to a close in only a few days, and the December lull is an excellent opportunity for soon-to-be retirees to start planning for their retirement.

Courtesy of, follow these four tips to help pave the way for a stress-free retirement in the coming year:

1/ Don’t miss your company retirement benefits – Many employers, whether privately-owned, non-profit or government, offer employees benefits ranging from health to disability and retirement funding. If you don’t already know what yours offers, ask your HR department and see if it’s not too late to jump on. It might bring your retirement fund thousands of dollars.

2/ Mark your Social Security date – The earlier seniors take Social Security, the less money they will receive. So make sure you are taking out money when you need it, not necessarily as early as possible.

3/ Sign up for Medicare – Americans can sign up for Medicare as soon as they are about three months before they turn 65. It’s important to sign up before you turn 65; otherwise your premiums every month can jump by as much as 10%.

4/ Protect your savings – As retirement approaches, the biggest financial goal soon-to-be retirees should have is protecting their money, and not necessarily trying to grow it. So speak with your retirement advisor about withdrawing your risky investments, and look to park the money in a safer place.