What to do as retirement nears

Make a final savings push

If you only have enough savings to replace 50% or 60% of your current income, counting pensions and Social Security, there’s still time to boost the balances in your retirement accounts.

But you need to be smart about it. If you’re behind on saving, the temptation is to make a long-shot bet on a risky investment to get ahead.

“People feel I’ve got to catch up. They start taking chances in the market,” says Cathy Pareto, a certified financial planner in Coral Gables, Fla.

“That’s not a game people win. You play catch-up by putting more into savings and finding ways to reduce your living expenses.”

Doing so doesn’t have to be painful. One analysis found Americans waste 15% of their income on things they don’t really need.

Would bringing your lunch to work twice a week really be so bad? It could allow you to save an additional $80 a month at a time in your life when every dollar counts.