Dean and LaDonna Lenz, 57 and 55, Littleton, Colo.
Work as: Mechanical engineer for an aerospace company (him), high school tech coordinator (her)
Aiming to retire in: 2017
"We want to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and do things together that we don't have time for now," says LaDonna.
After meeting with a financial adviser, they realized that they needed to be putting away a bit more to have the life they want -- which includes sailing,scuba diving and spending more time with their new granddaughter.
So they slowly went from stashing 14% of their household income to 22%; they are also building an emergency fund to cover six to 12 months of expenses.
Dialing back investment risk. The financial adviser also made the Lenzes aware that their retirement investments were too aggressive, putting them at risk for big losses in their portfolio.
"We had nearly 40% of my 401(k) in my company stock," says Dean. "We cut that down to 10% and have a much better balance in our investments."
Paying off debt. The Lenzes refinanced their mortgage and last year paid off the last of the college loans they took out for their three kids.
Reducing those costs now enables them to funnel more money toward their retirement savings and will cut their fixed expenses in retirement.
Once you're within 10 years of your quit date, you've already faced down some tough challenges. But you'll still have to navigate tricky waters in the final leg of your career. Here's Money magazine's guide.
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