Build a relationship with a financial adviser
Look for a fee-only financial planner designated as a Certified Financial Planner by the nonprofit Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The Board of Standards, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and the Financial Planning Association all offer searchable databases with the contact information of certified financial planners.
Rebalance your retirement account regularly
Financial advisers typically suggest rebalancing your portfolio whenever the mix of equities and fixed-income investments is more than 7 percent to 10 percent from your original asset allocation.
Make a personal retirement plan projection
A good place to start is an online calculator called the Ballpark E$timate, on the Employee Benefit Research Institute's site at choosetosave.org. Many major mutual fund companies also have retirement calculators on their sites.
If you have children or other dependents, consider a term life insurance policy that provides hundreds of thousands of dollars of coverage for minimum premiums over terms of 20 or 30 years, but has no cash value.
Set up a self-employed retirement plan
If you are starting a business, or moving to a nonprofit or a small firm without an employee retirement plan, keep setting aside money in tax-friendly accounts like a SEP-I.R.A., a solo 401(k) or a SIMPLE I.R.A. One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is not planning adequately — or at all — for their retirement.
Pay down debts
If possible, pay off outstanding high-interest credit card debts, college loans and auto loans.
Make your catch-up contributions
In 2017, workers 50 and older can contribute $6,000 in "catch-up" contributions to their 401(k) or other employer-provided retirement plans.
Review your Social Security and pension benefit options
You can get an estimate of your future Social Security benefits and a record of your lifetime earnings history at socialsecurity.gov. The AARP also has a retirement and a Social Security benefits calculator. These days, many people claim Social Security as soon as they turn 62, the earliest possible age. If you delay claiming Social Security until age 70, you will increase benefits by about 8 percent a year.
Start planning your next act
If you want to start an encore career, keep in mind that money is the biggest stumbling block. That is because starting over in a new field, particularly a philanthropic one, or going the self-employment route, usually comes with a price tag, at least initially. Start planning a few years ahead by saving, adding new skills and downsizing.