Better Late Than Never

SO you’re hurtling toward middle age but haven’t started saving for retirement.

The good news is, it’s not too late.

There are still plenty of ways to save a respectable amount by the time you are ready to stop working full time — and not all of them involve slashing spending. Here are some ideas from financial experts who focus on the needs of Generation X, who, according to Pew Research, are now 34 to 49:

FORGET THE JONESES Ask yourself: Do you really need the bigger, fancier car or home or fill-in-the-blank.

DO SIDE HUSTLES That is what Alan Moore, a co-founder of the XY Planning Network, calls jobs for extra income. Even a few hundred dollars each month can help you catch up, he added.

REPOSITION YOURSELF Continuing an education — by returning to school or gaining some helpful certifications — can help position [you] to earn more money (even on a part-time basis) as [you] become older. “This may be the best investment [you] can make,” Mr. Moore said.

SAVE MORE TOMORROW This approach, developed by two behavioral economists, is meant to help people without much willpower to save. The idea is to save half of future raises, bonuses or side-job money.

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In catching up on retirement savings, perhaps the first place to start is to let go of the anxiety or shame over being behind — and then make some changes. “You do have time, and unless you have a big pile of debt,” said Matt Becker, a financial planner, “you don’t need to do anything rash.”

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From Playing Catch-Up While Retirement Remains Far Off by Tara Siegel Bernard, New York Times, May 14, 2014