The dawn of the new year offers clients an opportunity to rethink and regroup, and to deal with some of those life and financial matters they’ve been avoiding. While the urge for reform is upon them, here are five resolutions that can go a long way toward ensuring they’re prepared mentally and financially for retirement.

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  1. Update the beneficiaries on retirement accounts. This Investopedia article by Denise Appleby points out that while many people take care to revise important documents such as wills, they tend to neglect retirement account beneficiary designations. Her handy checklist offers a timely reminder of some of the things all clients should keep in mind.
  2. Get a handle on retirement income sources. Adviser Jerry Golden, writing for Kiplinger, makes a crucial distinction between retirement income (consistent and sustainable) and withdrawals (which decrease the amount of money available to clients in the future). His point: the right income mix is key to ensuring a steady flow of income in retirement.
  3. Stay updated on changes to CPP. This Financial Post article by the Canadian Press details the latest suite of changes to the Canada Pension Plan.
  4. Learn to economize in advance. Here’s a great article to get clients started. Written by Emmie Martin for CNBC, it offers money-saving tips that aren’t overly punitive and make a big difference over time.
  5. Decide if full retirement is in the cards. Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail tells the amusing tale of her 70-year-old husband’s many attempts to retire. Food for thought for clients who need to begin thinking about their own future after work. As this Michelle McQuigge article in HuffPost makes clear, full retirement at 65 is no longer the norm.