With December coming to a close, the youngest of the baby boomers will turn 50 this year.

As they have at each stage of their lives, this group born between 1946 and 1964 will exert a tremendous force upon the face of retirement as we know it. Old assumptions need to quickly give way to today’s retirement money truths.

Here are some timely tips to point you in the right direction.

Plan for the long haul. We are living longer – hooray! But to ensure that these extra years will be lived in comfort, we need to reduce discretionary spending and get busy saving today. Consider making catchup contributions to your 401(k).

If you are 50 or over, your catchup contribution limit is $5,500 for 2014. This pre-tax money can be a powerful growth engine for your long retirement years ahead.

Consider long-term care insurance. This will ensure that any help you may need in the future with daily living will be provided on your own terms.

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