The Four Phases of Your Retirement Journey

The Four Phases of Your Retirement Journey Fitzwilliams Financial

Retirement is a multi-stage process. The duration and the financial approach to each stage will vary for each individual, making it an intricate subject. However, dissecting it into separate stages can help you understand and execute a smart retirement strategy. In this piece, we will explore every stage of retirement and highlight significant financial events within each phase.

Phase 1: Before Retirement (Approximately Ages 50-62)

When you get to be about 50, you can start to estimate your savings and potential expenses. At the age of 20, envisioning your retirement may seem like a far-fetched idea. Even in your 30s or 40s, retirement still feels distant. Life can still throw many unforeseen twists and turns, making it challenging to predict what resources you will have or require when you retire. However, once you hit your 50s, retirement expectations might start to get clearer. Crucial financial decisions beckon at this age. Deciding when to tap into social security becomes vital.[1] Additionally, it’s time to ponder whether you should make catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts.[1]

Phase 2: Starting Retirement (Approximately Ages 62-70)

This is the stage where your preparation begins to experience real-world application. You have transitioned from receiving a salary from employment to drawing from savings and potentially gaining passive income through investments. This is a pivotal moment in any retirement pathway, as it provides a taste of what retirement truly entails. You can begin to assess your needs and identify what alterations are required in your financial strategy to maximize your retirement benefits. This period also demands careful consideration of health insurance and Medicare choices.[1]

Phase 3: Mid-Retirement (Approximately Ages 70-80)

This stage also comes with a few key financial changes. There is no more benefit for delaying Social Security after 70.[1] The implementation of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for various types of accounts commences during this period, mandating withdrawals from your retirement funds if you haven’t done so already.[1] Given that your health circumstances have probably significantly altered since you were 50, it’s crucial to reassess and modify your plan for healthcare costs as well.

Phase 4: Late Retirement (Ages 80+)

Long-term care options during this phase may be worth considering. Moreover, financial planning for your legacy and estate, such as deciding the allocation of your assets after you pass away, can be a significant financial milestone at this stage of retirement.


Each stage of your retirement journey necessitates unique abilities and approaches. Our financial professionals have collaborated with clientele at each point of their retirement, assisting in crafting plans suitable for any stage they might be in. We invite you to connect with one of our professionals for a financial assessment today.