2-5 Years Before Retirement

To Do List:

  1. Attend a JHU Pre-Retirement Program. 
  2. Start to refine your vision for retirement (where, what, and with whom will you spend your time). 
  3. Consult with TIAA or Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) to review your investment choices and see if you’re on track toward your financial goals. 
  4. Create an account with the Social Security Administration to review your earnings history. 
  5. Continue to save! Even small amounts add up! 
  6. Complete (or review) your medical advance directive, financial Power of Attorney, and will. 
  7. Learn about a Health Savings Account (HSA), available through the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), to see if it is a good retirement investment strategy for you. 
  8. Learn about benefits available to you as a JHU retiree. 

Education & General Planning

Attend a Pre-Retirement Program to help you plan and prepare for retirement. Learn about your JHU retiree benefits, financial and legal planning, Medicare, and non-financial factors that contribute to satisfaction in retirement. 

Talk with retirees, read books and blogs, and listen to podcasts to get a better sense of the decisions you will need to make and how to make them. 

Financial Planning


Whether you are a bargaining unit employee or support staff employee, understand what your pension benefits are. Create an online account with Empower to check your estimated benefit and to gain access to online tools such as financial calculators and informational videos. You can reach them at 1-877-778-2100. 


Whether you are faculty or staff, understand which plan you are eligible for.  Meet with an investment representative to see if you are on track. There’s no cost to you to meet with a TIAA consultant or an independent Marsh McLennan Agency financial coach. For your convenience, virtual appointments are available. This is a good time to review your goals to see if your financial plan is on track. 

Focus on your future by increasing your 403(b) contribution. Every little bit helps! Learn about the Power of Saving 1% More. 

Get Projections

Create an account with the Social Security Administration to review your earnings history and see projections for your monthly benefit. Learn about the pro’s and con’s of collecting social security at your full retirement age, versus age 62, versus age 70. 

Legal Planning

Either create or review your estate planning/legal documents (financial power-of-attorney, medical advance directives, and a will or trust). Your Johns Hopkins Employee Assistance Program (JHEAP) benefit offers online resources, including legal templates, educational videos, and articles. Visit CCA@YourService (Company Code: JHEAP) to access educational resources. Call 888-978-1262 or chat on-line through Live Connect to be referred to an in-network attorney for a free 30-minute educational consultation or discounted hourly rate if you retain the attorney’s services. 

If you enrolled in the elective benefit, the MetLife Legal Plan, you may use this benefit for estate planning, including free preparation of your and your spouse’s Power of Attorney and wills.   

Through your Securian Financial life insurance benefit you have access to professional services for legal matters, including will prep templates and a free 30-minute consultation per issue, by phone or in an attorney’s office (additional services available at 25 percent discount).

A general resource that is not part of the Hopkins benefits is the directory of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. 

Organize your important paperwork to make it easy for family members to find if needed. 

Health Savings Account (HSA)

A Health Savings Account (HSA), available with the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), can be a good financial planning strategy for retirement with its triple tax benefits. 

The HSA (health savings account) is different from the FSA (flexible spending account). Learn the differences and functions of each of these healthcare savings tools. 

If you decide to elect the HDHP with the HSA, you may do so during the benefits annual enrollment period or within 30 days of a qualifying life event.