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How Do You Plan For Retirement At Or Near Retirement Age?

How Do You Plan For Retirement At Or Near Retirement Age?

Raising a family and working through lean times means not everyone has an opportunity to save significant sums of money when planning for retirement. Many people also have a live for today attitude and don't realize how important retirement planning is until it's too late. Regardless of the reason, it's never too late to plan for retirement but it will mean making significant sacrifices. Paying off debt and building up savings in an extreme fashion is sometimes required to provide an opportunity to enjoy your golden years.

Maximize Contributions

Most employees reach their top earning potential during the last ten years of employment. This should, and will be for late starters, also be the time employer based retirement plan contributions are also maximized. The added benefit is that most retirement accounts have contribution matching up to a certain percentage making for even more savings. If you haven't already done so, adjust you 401(k) account contribution to the maximum amount allowed. Also take any additional money left over each month and store it in a Certificate of Deposit, Money Market account or any other relatively save investment vehicle.

Downsize Your Lifestyle

Saving as much as you can is a great start but it's only half the solution. Many consumers live up to or beyond their means spending more than they make. At this point in life, the children should be out of the house and graduated from college so in reality, monthly expenses should be relatively low. If that is not the case then start downsizing immediately. Many news reports and articles have covered the issue of seniors outliving their savings leading to tough choices between medicine and food or heating. Sell your home and move into a smaller place, keep only one vehicle and take the extra money from the sales and savings from insurances and put it towards your nest egg.

Plan on Working

While not a pleasant thought, many retirees may need to work in retirement. This isn't necessarily a bad thing if you like to stay active and get out of the house with a purpose in mind. Working at a part time job making a few extra hundred dollars per month can mean the difference between a comfortable living and struggling to get by. Start planning to work after retirement now so you can set yourself up better in the job market. Focus on using your years of experience to do consulting or to start some other small business you have knowledge and an interest in. It is a case of plan for the worst and hope for the best when it comes to working later in life.


Planning for retirement at or near retirement age is about doing as much as possible as quickly as possible. It can be done but it will require focus and dedication for a number of years up until the day you retire and start collecting a pension or Social Security. Even if you think you have enough money already saved consider saving some more. The unexpected can happen at any time so take any measures necessary to protect yourself financially, especially in retirement.

Image by: Laura Gilmore