6 tips for investors who get a late start on retiring

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If you're approaching those golden years, but haven't started saving for retirement you're definitely not alone. Although Atlanta financial advisers encourage that the earlier you start saving for retirement the better, many of those who are closing in on 50 are finding themselves getting a late start.

Below are six tips that can help you catch-up.

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Know where you are financially.

Before you start saving for your retirement, you need to have an idea of what your financial picture really is. Write down and take a look at your household budget. You may find areas where you can cut that will free up money to invest in your retirement account. As an example, if you eat out a number of times each week, you may find that you can reduce this expense by dining at home instead. You can then add the amount to your monthly savings.

Explore your investment options.

Dave Ramsey, a popular financial radio show host, stated that educating yourself can help your navigate all your available options. See what type of retirement plans are available at work or consider opening a regular or ROTH IRA. Many employers offer 401(K) plans that allow employees to make contributions by direct deposit from their paychecks. In many cases, employers will even match an employee's contribution, which can help to quickly build up your retirement savings.

Avoid making riskier investments.

You may find it tempting to try to make up for lost time by investing in something that promises high returns. Unfortunately, those types of investments often end up failing and you stand a better chance of losing more money than you think you will make. While you can make money in the stock market, it is important to first educate yourself and work to minimize your risk.

Consider downsizing your home.

When your children lived at home you may have needed all the extra space, but with an empty nest, you might have more space than you actually need. Selling your current Atlanta home and moving into a smaller one could not only give you a smaller mortgage, but if you have built up equity in your home, you may have the funds to jump-start your retirement savings.

Pay down your credit cards.

Forbes suggests that one way to find money to invest for your retirement is by paying down high-interest-rate debt, such as your credit cards. They theorize that if you are currently paying 20 percent on your credit card debt, you will get an immediate 20 percent return for every dollar you pay off.

Start investing for your retirement today.

Although you might have to start investing for your retirement slowly, the most important thing to do right now is to simply get started. Even if you find that after doing everything else, you have only a few dollars to invest it still means you are on your way to saving.