The big 5-0 is one of those birthdays that can make people take serious stock of the half-century behind them.
Passing that milestone also can bring on the realization that retirement — or whatever you choose to call that phase of life when full-time work is largely behind you — is no longer a distant concept. And if you haven't focused on that looming reality, it can be anxiety provoking.
"Sometimes people don't really know how to assess their future needs and don't want to talk about it," said certified financial planner Charlotte Dougherty, president of Dougherty & Associates in Cincinnati. "But a lot of times there are opportunities at that age to really move the needle on your retirement planning."