Based on recent surveys, only 32% of workers in American said they were sure that they could “live well” during their retirement. That means a lot of people may not have things prepared for their golden years. It is never too late to begin the planning process which is good news. That will require reviewing your finances and being proactive in your approach.

The following advice will help you with your approach:

Pay Off Your Debt

That may be a no-brainer but it is one that few people are actively working towards. Paying off the minimum balance is not the same as paying down your debt. These days many credit card companies, are very clear when it comes to reporting how long it would take you to pay a debt off and how much it would cost you in interest.

You may end up paying a few thousand dollars by the time the debt is fully cleared. This is the reason why you need to put the effort in to reduce the debt that you have. You can do this by making large spending cuts in your household budget and taking the money you saved to reduce your debt.

You need to look that transferring your balances from high-interest credit cards to lower-rate cards. Once that debt has been noticeably reduced you can move your focus to save money.

Make Your Money Work

As you start saving money, you do not want to just transfer it into a savings account and leave it to grow. The issue is that it will not grow. This is where the concept of investing money comes into play. That does not mean investing in a relative’s new startup. Instead, talk to a financial planner to find out what the options are for a money market account.

This is where you would invest in things like stock portfolios or mutual funds that will earn you dividends. Following the stock market is not necessary to make money this way. The money managers do all of the work once you invest in these accounts. Your bank will most likely have investment opportunities like this that you could discuss.

Retirement and Social Security

There will be a time during your retirement when the benefits of Social Security will come into play. A lot will depend on when you plan to retire. The Social Security Administration has the formula to work out your benefits based on the earnings from thirty-five years of work when you earned the most.

If you have only worked for thirty of those years, then you may want to consider pushing through for an additional five years. In other words, early retirement may not be the best option when you consider the next twenty or thirty years.