Like all things, having a great life during your retirement years starts with a good plan. While many folks start planning for retirement early, many things happen along the way to derail their original plans. Hardships happen in life, you may borrow against your 401K to purchase a home, many folks discover that a divorce decimates income they’d counted on for their retirement years.

If long-term illness, paying for unexpected hardships and other problems finds you middle-aged and wondering how to pay for retirement, there is hope and several ways to recover using a revised retirement plan.

Create Realistic Goals

Examine what you look forward to every day and every week. What types of things do you like to spend your time and money on? Chances are those are the same activities you’ll savor having time for during your retirement years. Most people have a vague plan to travel the world when they retire. In reality, you may not enjoy much of the hassle that comes with extensive travel in today’s world.

If possible, try out some of the activities you dream of doing once you retire. This gives you the opportunity to discover what you really enjoy doing. Once you identify those things, determine how much money it takes to maintain your current lifestyle and pay for what you want during your retirement years.

Consider Working A Little Longer

Traditionally, folks in our society planned to retire between age 62 and 65. Right now, the average 65-year-old will live to approximately 85 years of age. One in four will live past the age of 90. Yet, many folks opt for early retirement at the age of 62. Many of the early retirees live to regret that decision.

If you wait to retire until the age of 66 or 67, you’ll see your income increase by about 25 percent. An additional 25 percent a year provides a lot of money for living expenses and discretionary funds. Without it, your retirement years may not prove as fulfilling as you hoped.

If you work a little longer, put away another one or two percent of your salary, and talk to a financial planner, you have a higher than average chance of enjoying your retirement years – not just surviving them.