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

Transamerica Webinar Series

Visit and click on the last tab, "Getting Ready to Retire". You can register for one or all five webinars that will help you plan and transition to retirement. All webinars are offered twice per month.

"Countdown to Retirement" checklist

If you’re planning to retire within the next 12 months, you should be taking specific steps toward that goal.  The checklist below provides employees of the Johns Hopkins Health System/Johns Hopkins Hospital 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 Retirement Office.

12 months prior to retirement:

  • Review your estimated pension benefits on your Annual Total Compensation Statement.
  • Run your own pension estimate by accessing your pension account online at You’ll need to enter your username and password and click on “View” under Defined Benefit.  Then click on the “Modeling” tab and follow the prompts.
  • Sign up for webinars by accessing and clicking on the last tab, “Getting Ready to Retire”.  Each webinar is 30 minutes and offered twice per month.
  • Contact the Human Resources Solution Center (HRSC) at 443-997-5400 or email [email protected] to request a pension estimate.
  • If you are at least age 62, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 for an estimate of your Social Security benefits or visit their website at

6 months prior to retirement:

  • Discuss your estimated retirement benefits/options with a financial advisor
  • Contact your benefits office to inquire if you may continue employer-provided benefits after retiring, such as life insurance, COBRA, Pre-Paid Legal, etc.
  • Prepare a retirement budget, estimating your retirement expenses with your pension, 403(b), Social Security and personal savings.

3 months prior to retirement:

  • Contact the Human Resources Solution Center (HRSC) at 443-997-5400 or by email, [email protected] to request your pension packet with all of the forms you need to review, complete, sign, and return if you want to commence your pension payment.
  • Contact Transamerica at 1-800-755-5801 or the JHH Osler 7 on-site Consultant at 410-955-5828 if you want to receive a distribution of your 403(b) Plan.
  • If you’re 62 or older and are ready to begin receiving your Social Security retirement benefits, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or apply online through their website,
  • If you’re age 65 or older, apply for your Medicare coverage by calling 1-800-772-1213 or apply online at the Medicare website,

1 month prior to retirement:

  • Submit a formal letter of retirement to your supervisor and the Retirement Office.
  • Speak with your supervisor/manager to ensure your department issues an ISR to update SAP with your retirement date so that you don’t experience a delay in receiving your retirement/pension income.

Additional resources