For Mark Roberts’ Use: Let’s say you’ve been looking forward to your retirement for years, and planning faithfully. But now something has happened, and you’re not so sure your retirement budget is feasible. Maybe you faced an unexpected expense, or your cost of living has increased, or some other circumstance has planted doubts in your mind. Perhaps you just want to be extra cautious before taking the leap – and that’s understandable!

Whatever your reasons for exercising caution, we applaud your conservative approach. It’s always easier to plan for a successful retirement during your working years, than to attempt to fix mistakes later. So with that idea in mind, here are five last-minute things to consider, that might help you achieve a more secure retirement.

Postpone. For each additional year that you work, you can save more money and allow your retirement fund to grow. It’s also one less year that you will spend living off of your retirement income.

Consider a phased retirement. Retirement isn’t always an all-or-nothing proposition. Inquire whether your employer would allow you to move to part-time work, or consider a second part-time career once you retire.

Take advantage of catch-up contributions. Once you’ve turned 50, you can make catch-up contributions to your retirement fund each year. That’s an additional $6,000 dollars of annual savings, plus the tax benefits you’ll earn right now.

Open an IRA. You can contribute to both a 401(k) and an IRA. And did you know that if your spouse doesn’t work, you can open and fund an spousal IRA?

Downsize. Many people dream of paying off their mortgages before retirement. But downsizing to a smaller, more affordable home is also an option. If you already have considerable equity in your current home, downsizing now might mean you could pay cash outright for your new place… And for the rest of your career, you’d be mortgage-free. You could stash that extra income in your 401(k) or IRA instead.

These are just some of your options, if you’re feeling doubtful about your ability to retire comfortably. Come meet with us, and we could help you identify further savings and planning opportunities that are unique to your situation.