Ideally, retirement savings goals are balanced by the 30 years or more savers have to meet them. But many people approach retirement with little stashed away. If that sounds like you, here are some options for turning the next decade into a retirement rally:
Contribute to a Roth IRA
Usually pitched to workers in lower tax brackets because taxes are paid on the front end, a Roth IRA tackles a potential problem: Higher earners may pay more for Medicare parts B and D, and Social Security becomes partly taxable if your income is above a set amount. A Roth distribution could reduce your taxable income, which can minimize Social Security taxes and lower Medicare premiums.
Consider a health savings account
Contributions to a health savings account are tax-deductible and distributions for medical expenses are tax-free. An HSA must be linked to a high-deductible health insurance policy, which has higher deductibles, but lower premiums. The idea is that plan holders put their premium savings into an HSA, to be used for medical expenses before meeting that higher deductible.
Start wiping out debt
Your income will likely go down in retirement, so you will need to whittle expenses down, too. Paying down high-interest debt is one of the best ways to trim your budget. If downsizing your home is in your retirement plans, do it now instead of later. Then, use the funds your smaller footprint frees up to hammer away at debt.
Don’t shy away from risk
It’s true you would be wise to dial down the risk in your investment accounts leading up to retirement. But being too conservative can quickly shrivel your savings. Consider the bucket approach: one with assets that are more conservative for use in early retirement; another that’s less conservative to use later. That way, money you will need in your 80s can continue to grow.
Think about stopgap measures
Maybe you have paid off your home and you can tap a reverse mortgage. Maybe you want to explore annuities, which — in their most basic form — turn a lump sum of your savings into a stream of income. Or maybe you are up for a side gig. Whatever you are thinking, now is a good time to make a few backup plans.