6-12 Months Before Retirement

To Do List:

  1. Confirm your eligibility for retirement and the costs of retiree benefits by contacting the benefits service center or visiting our website.
  2. Pick a retirement date! 
  3. Attend a JHU Pre-Retirement Program. 
  4. Continue to refine your vision for retirement (when, where, what, how, and with whom). 
  5. Make sure you are on track toward your financial goals. 
    • Consult with TIAA or Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) to review your 403(b) investment choices and see if you’re on track toward your financial goals. 
    • Create an account with the Social Security Administration to review your earnings history. 
    • Review your JHU pension estimate. 
  6. Complete (or review) your medical advance directive, financial POA, and will. 
  7. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), stop contributions to that account 6 months before enrolling in Medicare. 
  8. Check the account balance on your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and use it before you lose it’. If you are not sure about the difference between the HSA and the FSA, refer to the information listed below. 

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

Review your retirement accounts, social security, pension, etc. and get the most up-to-date projections. 

Test your plan! Create a retirement budget and, for a couple of months, practice living within this budget. 

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 online 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 voluntary benefit, the MetLife Legal Plan, you may use this benefit for estate planning, including free preparation of your and your spouses’ powers-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. 

Obtaining Health Insurance in Retirement 

If you are under age 65 at retirement, research your options on purchasing health insurance. Some options include COBRA, health insurance through your spouse’s employer if they are working full-time, or the open marketplace. If you will be living in Maryland, you can search the insurance broker directory on the Maryland Health Connection for assistance. 

If you are age 65+ at retirement, you may use the Mercer Marketplace 365+ to help you compare the JHU retiree medical with other supplemental plans. 

Your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

Health Savings Account (HSA) & Flexible Spending Account (FSA) 

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 have a HSA, you must stop your contributions 6 months before enrolling in any part of Medicare. This does not apply to your FSA. 

Check the account balance on your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and use it before you ‘lose it’.