6 Last-Minute Retirement Planning Strategies

If you are approaching retirement and worried that you do not have sufficient savings, you are not alone.

Data shows that 22% of Americans have less than $5,000 in retirement savings.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to catch up on your retirement savings — even if you are in your 50s.

Let’s look at six last-minute strategies that can boost your retirement savings and help you remain financially stable during your golden years.

Contribute more to your retirement accounts

The IRS allows individuals over the age of 50 to contribute more towards their retirement accounts.

You can contribute an additional $6,500 to your 401(k) account and an additional $1,000 to your IRA account. Make full use of this rule and contribute more to your retirement accounts.

Scale down your lifestyle

Do everything you possibly can to save more money. Downsize your home, stop eating out and cook your own meals, make your own coffee, cancel cable TV, cancel all unnecessary subscriptions, buy used things, and sell the items you do not need.

More importantly, invest every penny you save.

Work for a few more years

If you are healthy and active, there is no reason why you should retire at the age of 65. You can continue to work and save up as much as you can.

If you wait until you are 70 to claim your Social Security benefits, you can significantly increase your monthly payments.

Become a freelancer

If you have a skill that can be monetized (and pretty much any skill can be monetized these days), consider becoming a freelancer. Freelancing gigs that can help you make money from home include website development, copywriting, consulting, accounting, and tutoring.

If web-based gigs are not your thing, you can try other gigs like pet sitting, pet grooming, babysitting, house sitting, and substitute teaching.

Rent out what you own

Renting out your stuff is a great way to earn some money on the side. If you have a spare room in your house, rent it out. You can also rent out your place for film shoots and parties.

Other things you can rent out include storage space, parking space, car, RV, boat, woodworking and gardening tools, photography gear, fishing gear, musical instruments, and sporting goods.

Consider more risk with your investments

If you have been way too conservative with your investments, it might be time to take some risks. Bonds and CDs might be safe and stable, but they do not offer much in terms of returns.

Invest instead in corporate bonds, growth stocks, dividend-paying stocks, index funds, and real estate investment trusts that can give much better returns, both in the short term as well as in the long term.

Remember, do not make radical changes to your portfolio if you are closer to retirement. In the market crumbles, you could lose your principal, at least in the short term.

Consult a financial advisor before making any changes to your portfolio and make sure you only invest a portion of your overall savings in high-risk, high-reward type investments.