Before you retire, financial expert Jonathan Clements suggests that you take your ideal retirement for a "test drive." If you have big plans to coach Little League, say, take some time in the years before you leave the workforce to make sure that you actually want to be a coach, says Clements, the author of How to Think About Money and director of financial education for Creative Planning. This is a window of time to identify activities that are meaningful and satisfying to you.
The five to 10 years leading up to retirement are also a time to make sure your finances are in order so that you can lead the life you want, Clements says. You should try to save as much money as you can before you retire, although that sometimes is difficult if you get laid off from a job. You may want to look for ways to trim your living expenses. Try to arrange your finances so that you will be able to delay Social Security to 66 or even 70, which will produce a larger monthly check in later life.