Years ago, you establish retirement goals, and you’ve been working toward them ever since. But somehow, you found yourself sidetracked, and you haven’t made as much progress toward your goals as you had hoped. Or, maybe you never set any goals at all, and now you’re panicked as you realize that you need to prepare for retirement.

Either way, you need to play catch-up with your retirement income plan. Take these three steps to get your plans back on track, so that you can hopefully retire when you had expected.

Step One: Get yourself on a budget. Most of us are wasting money each month – sometimes considerable sums of it! Get in the habit of tracking your expenses for a few months, and analyze your necessities. Identify ways in which you have been wasting money, and put an end to those habits. You can’t get your retirement income goals back on track without a clear understanding of where your money has been going – and where it needs to go instead.

Step Two: Get out of debt. Your debt load is likely sucking several hundred dollars per month, or perhaps even more, out of your budget. It’s nearly impossible to get ahead when you’re still paying on high-interest loans or credit cards. Take the necessary steps to get out of debt, and you will thank yourself in retirement.

Step Three: Add extra income. Getting a second job, asking for a raise, starting a small side business – these are all great ways to add extra income to your budget each month. Extra income will help you boost your retirement savings.

Step Four: Get caught up on your retirement savings. Increase your retirement plan contributions, taking advantage of the maximum annual contribution if you can (for 2016, the limit is $18,000 for qualified retirement plans such as 401k accounts). Once you reach age 50, make additional catch-up contributions (this year you can contribute an additional $6,000 to your retirement fund). Over the next decade or so, these extra contributions will really add up.

For more help with your retirement income plan, call us at 760.436.1711 to schedule an appointment. We can help you identify areas where you’re struggling, and make a plan to get caught up.