Although the economic situation for Americans is beginning to improve after the recession, for many, those challenging years cut short the dream of saving for retirement over the course of decades. Senior workers today are forced to juggle saving for retirement with paying for other big life expenses along the way, such as a child’s college tuition, a divorce or other unexpected costs that curtail their savings. Not to mention the common fear of many future retirees – “Will I have enough money to live on through retirement?” – is multiplied when they have fallen behind on putting cash away. Whether due to economic or personal circumstances, you are not alone if you are struggling to “catch-up” on saving for retirement.

The encouraging news is that getting a late start on saving does not mean you won’t live a comfortable retirement. Here are some strategies for late starters to help build their nest egg when ready to leave the workforce:

  • Reevaluate your spending

    This may seem difficult when money is tight, but now is the time to put your expenses under a microscope and start to budget better for retirement. Cut down on ancillary spending like frequent dining out and instead earmark those dollars for retirement. In addition, many retirees are opting to move to a smaller, less expensive home or even forgoing homeownership altogether. If moving is not an option, consider ways to consolidate your home loan while interest rates are low.

  • Max out retirement plan contributions

    Contributing to a retirement account allows you to build wealth, maximize employer contributions and qualify for tax breaks. To better prepare for retirement, consider maxing out your contributions. Senior workers who are 50 years or older can contribute $24,000 annually to a 401(k) account in 2015. Doing this would equate to $2,000 per month, or $1,000 per paycheck. Add the employer match, if available at your company, on top of the maximum contributions and you are on the fast track to saving.

  • Postpone retirement

    Delaying retirement is a strategy that many Americans are utilizing today to ensure they have enough money for the long run. CareerBuilder released recent survey results that show 53 percent of workers over age 60 are delaying retirement and 54 percent of senior workers plan to work part or full-time after retirement.1 And a whopping 75 percent of them say the reason they are delaying retirement is due to the recession. Whether you participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, or need to add to your 401(k), think of the extra cash you will contribute over those extended working years.

  • Delay taking Social Security benefits

    For catch-up retirees, choosing to work longer and delaying taking Social Security benefits could extend the lifespan of your nest egg. Waiting to collect Social Security benefits until age 70 could buy you the maximum payment, which is calculated based on your 35 years of earnings. The rate of return on your invested income over time could equate to about eight percent. This is one guaranteed return that you do not often get in today’s economy.

  • Invest where you can

    While tax-deferred retirement accounts like a 401(k) are the preferred method for retirement saving, to better fund your future income there are opportunities that investing in stocks can provide. Be sure to discuss your financial situation and investment options with a financial professional. Investing more heavily in stocks may make sense for some future retirees where for others a stock-heavy portfolio may be a hair-raising experience given market volatility. In some cases, it may make sense to invest more heavily in bonds and the rest of your portfolio could be invested in stocks.

With proper planning and a motivation to save, a catch-up retirement is possible. Please call one of our Investment Representatives to discuss your options.

This information is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific legal, tax, or other professional advice. For specific professional assistance, the services of an appropriate professional should be sought.

Securities and insurance products offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGIS Insurance Agency), member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Cetera Investment Services LLC and Cetera Investment Advisers LLC are not affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered. Investments are: *Not FDIC/NCUSIF insured *May lose value *Not financial institution guaranteed *Not a deposit *Not insured by any federal government agency. Advisory services may only be offered by investment adviser representatives in conjunction with an advisory services agreement and disclosure brochure as provided.