Although retirement planning is a lifelong process, a person’s 50s and early 60s are usually the most critical times for making concrete retirement decisions. Here are four of the most important tips everyone needs to know for retirement planning at 50 and beyond. 

Pay Off the House
For people who haven’t already paid off their homes in their 50s, getting rid of mortgage payments is one of the best things to do for long-term financial stability. Paying the mortgage off will reduce monthly expenses, allowing retirement income to be stretched further.

Use the Time to Catch Up
Not everyone arrives in his or her 50s with solid finances in place. People in their 50s who still have some catching up to do can still retire with dignity, provided they are willing to buckle down and work hard on their finances. Cutting expenses, planning to delay retirement, maxing out retirement accounts, and saving all bonuses and tax returns are all effective ways to make up for the lost time

Look for a New Career Path
While 65 is the traditional retirement age, many people these days choose to embark on new careers in their 50s and 60s. Workers who extend their working years can save more money for retirement and ultimately have more income when they do retire. The trick is for people who want to keep working to find jobs they can enjoy, and that won’t be as physically demanding. Remote work jobs or passion-driven careers are great for older workers who want to extend their working years a bit beyond 65. 

Begin Adjusting Investment Portfolios
As people approach retirement age, their investment portfolios need to be tweaked to better fit their goals and timelines. After 50, a person’s investment portfolio should be allocated to a mix of about 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds. This balance is good for preserving capital while still allowing for decent annual returns. 

Following these tips, practically anyone can improve his or her financial situation as retirement approaches. Making the right moves in the later phases of your career is a great way to ensure a comfortable and dignified retirement.