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Preparing for Retirement

Whether you’ve just begun your career or you’re approaching retirement, it’s important to start planning ahead. You may be surprised at how much money you’ll need to maintain your standard of living after you retire—and how much of that will need to come from savings.

How much money will you need? To maintain your standard of living, a good rule of thumb is to replace approximately 70 to 80 percent of your pre-retirement income. That’s a lot of money, especially considering that many people rely on their retirement income for upwards of 20 years.

What makes up retirement income? The three sources of retirement income are Social Security, pension and savings—both personal savings and those from retirement savings plans, like your 403(b). Many people think they’ll have enough money with Social Security and pension alone, but your savings plays a big role in making your retirement years comfortable. To find out what your Social Security benefit will be, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or visit

"Countdown to Retirement" checklist

If you’re planning to retire within the next 12 months, right now you should be taking specific steps toward that goal. The checklist below provides employees of the Johns Hopkins Health System a general schedule for retirement preparation—including the best time to begin filing some of the required forms and making the necessary contacts with the Pension Office.

12 months prior to retirement:

  • Access your pension account online to review your information and use the pension payment calculator to estimate your pension benefit. You may also request an estimate by calling the Pension Office at 443-997-3789.
  • Contact the nearest Social Security Office for an estimate of your Social Security benefits. To obtain an estimate request form, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.

6 months prior to retirement:

  • Discuss your estimated benefits/options with a financial advisor.
  • Contact your benefits office to inquire if you may continue employer-provided benefits, such as life insurance/COBRA/Pre-Paid Legal, after retiring.
  • Prepare a retirement budget, estimating your retirement expense against your pension, Social Security and any other income.

3 months prior to retirement:

2 months prior to retirement:

  • Contact the Pension Office at 443-997-3789 to request your retirement forms.

1 month prior to retirement:

  • Submit a formal letter of retirement to your supervisor and the Pension Office.

Additional resources


Questions About Retirement Benefits?

Call or stop by!
M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., or by appointment

Pension and general questions:
443-997-3789 / Eastern A220

403(b) / Lincoln Financial:
410-955-5828 / Osler 7

403(b) / Lincoln Financial (Bayview):
410-550-1833 / Administrative Services Center, Room 312


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