SCALE BACK YOUR LIFESTYLE
Recognize that you'll need to make compromises to reach your goals. That could mean having one less car, eating out less often or any number of other cutbacks. Consuming less will take an adjustment but doesn't have to make you miserable. Staycations can be fun, and you can stay engaged and active through social relationships or volunteering. Just be sure you don't cut back so drastically that you fail to stick with it.
DELAY TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY
If you file for Social Security benefits as soon as you're eligible at age 62, your payments are reduced by about 30 percent from what they would be at full retirement age. (Visit the Social Security Administration website to find out your full retirement age, which is 66 to 67 depending on birth year.) After full retirement age, the monthly check increases by 8 percent for each additional year you delay up to age 70.
"If you start collecting sooner and live longer than your life expectancy, you're in greater danger of running out of money," says David Mendels, a certified financial planner with Creative Financial Concepts in New York City.
Copyright 2010, The Associated Press.