"I think in your 40s and 50s you really need to hone in on a game plan and have a solid financial plan that you can build with your advisor and work through those 40s and 50s," Coppa said.
Your game plan should also include a "vision" of what you think your retirement will actually look like.
Coppa said you don't have to agonize about having all the details or having every detail set in stone, but he said you should start thinking about what your "golden years" will look like. Do you want to travel, open a new business, do charity work, even replicate your current income?
If you can begin to articulate how you'd like to spend your retirement years, Coppa said you can start planning for it and set clearer goals with your financial advisor.
(Read more: What to ask your financial advisor when you're 50 and beyond)
Maurer added being able to define what you actually want in your future will also help you and your financial planner put together a framework to know what it's going to take to get there.
He cautioned there will be sacrifices but said everything's about balance. "It's similar to dieting ... because you don't want to be so restrictive that you're not going to obtain your goal."
All three agree it's best to start planning for your retirement even before your 40s especially since more and more people living well into their 80s. For many, their No. 1 question is will they outlive their money?
(Read more: Age-based Investing)
"With people living longer and longer it becomes more and more important of a question. If you don't know that answer to that question, then you probably need to get some professional advice, particularly in your 40s and 50s. It is all about the balance and you want to know the answer now of 'how much can I play with, and how much do I need to save, and how much certainty will I have if I do that,' " Pell said.
She also said getting advice will help you to figure out the everyday financial decisions like should you build an addition, put more money in a college fund or go on vacation?
Pell said working with an advisor and having a game plan to help you achieve your retirement "vision," will help you make those decisions without guilt.
—By CNBC's Gloria McDonough-Taub.