6. Delay all you can
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Hold off quitting work as long as you can. Wait to claim Social Security retirement benefits.
Foot-dragging is a great tactic for extending the life of your retirement savings. Waiting to retire helps delay the moment when you’ll need to crack open your nest egg, thereby giving investments longer to grow and giving you longer to contribute to them.
If you will have a financially tight retirement, leave savings untouched as long as possible. Stay on the job — whatever job you can get. A low-paying job or a part-time job is generally better than no job.
7. Wipe out debts
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All debt, and high-interest credit-card debt in particular, forces you to spend money on interest that you could be putting toward retirement. Set a goal to pay off debts, even your mortgage if possible, before retiring.
- “8 Foolproof Steps to Get You Out of Debt Fast”
- “Ask Stacy: What’s the Single Best Way to Pay Down Debt?”
8. Radically shrink spending
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You’ll have to cut back on spending when you retire, anyway. If you start now, you can use the savings to help fund your retirement.
A drastic cut in spending requires big decisions and determination.
For example, how would life change if you decided to spend no more than 30 percent of your income on housing? You may decide to move to a cheaper part of the country, or to leave the United States and move abroad.
Spending less than you earn is the magic sauce that enables people to save, live debt-free and rescue shaky retirements.
Learn more: “How to Live Rent-Free (or Way Cheaper Than You Are Now)”
9. Get help from your home
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If you own a home, the equity may well be your biggest source of wealth. Two common ways to tap it are taking a reverse mortgage or selling the home and downsizing, investing the profit in a retirement account.
Maybe you don’t want to sell or take on debt. There are other ways to use your home as a retirement asset.
For example, you could rent a room to a boarder or get a housemate, occasionally rent part of the home to vacation travelers or rent it out while you travel. Or you could move to a cheaper location.
10. Find a job with a pension
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Jobs with old-fashioned defined-benefit pensions — the type that pay retirees a set amount each month or year — are scarce. But they have not entirely disappeared. You could make it your mission to find one.
At the least, make sure you collect on any pensions you may have had in the past.
Learn more: “4 Places to Look for Pension Money You Have Forgotten”
How’s your retirement savings coming along? Do you have ideas for others who are trying to build a nest egg? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.