For Mark Roberts’ Use: We all know that the ideal way to prepare for retirement includes early planning and saving. Hopefully, you got started in your twenties or at least by your thirties. But in most cases, we really start to think about retirement (and feel concerned) in our forties and fifties. At this point your looming retirement just seems like more of a reality than a distant dream.

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 2 out of 10 workers feel confident about their retirement plans. So, rest assured that it’s normal to begin feeling concerned! The good news is that 8 out of 10 workers will accumulate at least 80 percent of the resources they need to retire. So, your odds are pretty good, but we’re glad you’re thinking about the future.

If you’re ready to ramp up your retirement strategy, here are four things you can do throughout your fifties to increase your savings rate and get into a better position to retire.

Establish a goal. Thinking about retirement without setting a savings goal is like going on vacation without choosing a destination. You know you need to drive “somewhere”, but you have no direction! Schedule an appointment with us, and we’ll help you decide how much you should be saving for retirement. Then, we can figure out how to get you there.

Make catch-up contributions. At age 50, you can now make additional catch-up contributions to your qualified retirement plan each year (while reaping more tax benefits). Take advantage of this opportunity.

Take advantage of employer matches. If you can’t contribute the full allowable amount to your retirement account, contribute at least enough to reap your employer’s full matching amount. Never say no to free money!

Consider your insurance needs. Establishing a stable form of income is an important part of retirement planning. But you should also consider ways to protect that income. One accident, illness, market downturn or another unfortunate event could put a serious dent in your savings. During our appointment we can talk about insurance products to hedge against risks in retirement.