Sometimes we talk up the power of saving early and compounding so much we unintentionally discourage those nearing retirement. A looming deadline for anything creates anxiety. When that deadline marks the end of your career, then it can get downright scary. Add to the mix this crazy thing called "finance" (aka "math," which by some accounts connotes even worse feelings), and you have all you need for an explosive concoction of unease, unknown, and uncertainty.

This can lead to poor decisions, awful mistakes, and bad things in general. Those lucky few who've decided to invest in themselves (and their future) benefit from having a financial coach who knows the tricks to better preparing those in their 50s for retirement. It all starts by knowing how to avoid the many traps that can ensnare the inexperienced pre-retiree.

One of the most common traps is the false belief that it's "too late" to do anything about it. The emphasis on early saving makes it sound like preparing for retirement is best suited for young people, not those nearing retirement. In fact, for those ages 50 and above, the government has provided a special bonus to help your retirement saving efforts. Depending on your retirement savings vehicle, you can stash between $1,000 (for an IRA) to $6,000 (for a 401(k)) more per year beginning at age 50.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook ( Twitter (