All of your adult life you’ve been told to save...for a car, a home, unexpected repairs, your kids college tuition...all while saving for that one really big ticket item; retirement. This isn’t always easy. Because it’s only natural to get a little off track when life intervenes.

As your retirement gets closer, the more aware you are of the importance of building your savings. You won’t have a steady paycheck to rely on. You’ll be paying yourself from the money you’ve saved in various retirement accounts and investments, and relying on Social Security; possibly a pension if you’re one of the lucky few.

So how do you prepare leading up to retirement?

If you have a savings shortfall, don’t panic, you can make adjustments today that can help set you up for a comfortable retirement. Such as:

  • Contribute more to your 410(k); at least enough to get the company match.
  • When you pick up an item to buy, ask yourself if you really need it. No good reason. Put the money you would have spent into savings.
  • Revise your budget and take out some of the nice-to-have items.

Did you also know that more retirement experts are asking people to add more guaranteed income, like Social Security, to better prepare for retirement?

Buying a deferred income annuity with some of your savings today, and money you put into it over time, may provide a sizeable monthly paycheck that starts in retirement (just like Social Security, it will continue for life). This is guaranteed income you can allocate toward whatever you like, such as fixed expenses or to help maintain the lifestyle you envision.

Remember, if you have a clear picture of what you want your retirement to look like, you’ll have an easier time making choices that will shape your retirement.

Think about making a few changes once you retire, and if you already are.

Here are a few things that can help you plan ahead, feel a bit more relaxed and give you a better sense of control over your financial future:

  • Always stay on top of your monthly budget to track where you’re under- and over-spending.
  • To give you a better idea of how much extra money you’ll have, spend only on the necessities for a month; then see how much is left for the fun stuff.
  • Take vacations closer to home to eliminate costly airfare.
  • Set aside some savings that are easy to access for emergencies... and don’t touch it!
  • Turn a hobby into a part-time job for income. Passion for coffee; become a barista. Have a green thumb; work in a garden center.

Still worry you’ll come up short? Research guaranteed income annuities. Money put into this annuity turns into lifetime, fixed monthly payments that can help cover some essential expenses.

Ultimately, being disciplined and proactive could be the most important things you do to help give you the means to enjoy the retirement you worked so hard for.

Learn more about annuities in the New York Life Learning Center, or call 1-800-313-6841 to have your questions answered by a knowledgeable representative.