As you get closer to retirement age, two emotions are common for women.

They either experience anticipation at the idea of enjoying their time without the constrictions of a job or they are fearful of how they will manage financially. The time to prevent the second emotion is now no matter how close to retirement age you are.

Whether you own your own small business or work for one, what are you doing to planning for your retirement?

Plan Now for Retirement

According to studies, more women than men work in jobs that do not have a retirement plan in place. These may be part-time jobs or small employers with few or no benefits.

What this means to women is that they must take control of their own retirement funds instead of relying on traditional 401k plans or pensions.

Many women take time off to raise their families, which means they work fewer years and contribute less to their retirement than men.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 45% of working women contribute to a retirement plan. At the same time, their life expectancy is typically several years longer than that of a man.

Tips to Make Your Retirement Secure

Even if you haven’t been contributing to a retirement plan or at least not as much as you should, you can make changes that will help you be able to look forward to that phase in your life.

As the following article looks at, there are retirement plan solutions you should already be thinking about, including:

  • Begin now – no matter what you have done in the past, begin saving for retirement now;
  • Start with your employer – look at any 401k plans or other retirement investment options available to you. Even some of the smallest of small businesses offer retirement plan options for their employees. Along with helping them out, offering retirement plan benefits is one way smaller employers can encourage their workers to stay longer with the company, this opposed to running off to a bigger employer sooner rather than later;
  • Maximize your investment with employer contributions – if you have an employer-contributed plan in place, maximize the amount you contribute;
  • Invest on your own if your employer doesn’t offer a plan – depending on your goals for retirement, you may want to consider safer options such as CDs and money market accounts to protect your investment.

Get Educated

Learn about investing by taking a course or attending a seminar. Read books and articles from financial experts.

Even if you hire a financial accountant or planner, you should know where your money is going and be able to make informed decisions about your investments.

Part of getting educated means knowing what your needs will be in retirement.

How much will it take to live on? What would you like to be able to do when you retire?

If you have been out of the workforce for some time and now have a job because of a divorce or death of a spouse, you may feel that you are at a disadvantage.

Know that there are multiple retirement plan solutions to choose from based on your income and investment ability. You may have to continue working a part-time job after retirement to supplement your income.

It is important to determine these issues as early as possible so that you can plan ahead.

Be Pro-active When Working for Yourself

For those running their own small businesses, you should also be looking out for your own long-term financial needs.

If you don’t have any employees, what are you doing to set aside money each year towards your retirement?

Just like you should regularly set aside money to pay the IRS since you don’t work under someone; set up a monthly coffer where you can put away a certain amount of funds towards retirement.

It is never too late or too early to begin planning your retirement. Don’t let the idea of living on a fixed income frighten you or cause anxiety.

Take the time to learn about investing and how to live in retirement and be prepared.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including small business and finance.