Dave Buckridge, 65, Firestone, Colo.
Works as: Transmission engineer and manager for a power company
Aiming to retire in: 2013
Buckridge worked with a financial adviser to identify all the expenses he would need to cover once he retired, from utilities to healthcare. That also included filling in some of the "softer" details of post-work life, like how he'll spend his time.
"Once I retire, I really want to retire," he says. His plans include traveling around the U.S. to visit friends from the service, helping his uncle who lives on a ranch in Oregon and playing golf with his son and daughter.
Delaying from his original date. Those spending projections made him decide to postpone his retirement from age 62 to age 66 to boost his pension and Social Security payouts.
"I realized that if I worked a few more years, I could have the retirement I envisioned," says Buckridge.
Diversifying his retirement income. Buckridge took his pension as a lump sum when he was eligible at age 62 and invested a chunk of it in an annuity.
By remaining on the job a few more years, he'll get another pension for his final years of service. He is also planning to rent out his home for additional income because he will spend a few months a year at his uncle's ranch in Oregon.
Once you're within 10 years of your quit date, you've already faced down some tough challenges. But you'll still have to navigate tricky waters in the final leg of your career. Here's Money magazine's guide.