Countdown to retirement: One year to go
No. 5: Pay down all debt if possible
Debt payments, whether from credit cards, a mortgage, a car loan or a child's student loan, can burden a post-retirement budget, leaving less room for the kinds of activities that you want to enjoy in retirement. If you still have debt during the year before retirement, pay down as much as you possibly can -- at least the debt outside of a mortgage, says Larry Luxenberg, partner with Lexington Avenue Capital Management in New City, N.Y.
Entering retirement mortgage-free is ideal if that's possible, says Vollmer. "Absolutely pay off your mortgage if you are in a position to do so," he says.