In the last column, I reminded everyone that I am not an investment advisor, so how much you need to save and what to invest in is advice you may need to pursue with a professional.

We talked about the importance of being as debt-free as possible in retirement and not relying on having as much access to consumer debt in retirement. We also discussed that where you will live when you retire is an important financial consideration, and that it is critical that you look into long-term care insurance, so that you have funds for those inevitable increased medical expenses and that you don’t rely too heavily on Social Security benefits.

Here are some additional things that I believe people should think about:

Parents need to proactively address the conflict that arises between saving for retirement and helping to educate your children. Just when you should be saving the most, for many, there are those college expenses of paying tuition and/or borrowing. Both are important, and for many today, there is the added pressure of helping support elderly parents. If you can, don’t sacrifice those retirement savings, but that may require you to cut back on your lifestyle, including taking less vacations, eating out less or driving older cars. You won’t regret it later.

If you are going to continue to own a home in retirement, address any deferred maintenance or necessary improvements while you have that greater income. Take inventory and take care of that new roof, driveway, siding or major appliance before retirement. Also, do you need a new car that won’t have repair costs for a while, but will last for a good number of years in retirement when you may be driving less miles?

Spend some time talking to some retired friends or family members about what financial mistakes they may have made or things they did not take into account so that you can avoid them. Like everything else in life, it is often the little things and the details that can make all the difference.It’s never too late to look at any expensive habits (smoking) or interests (downhill skiing) you may have, and determine if you will be able to afford them in retirement. You may have to make some adjustments. What will they be? Also, will the interests you will pursue in retirement in order to fill up all that time you used to be working be expensive or relatively inexpensive. You need to anticipate that so you can plan for it.

Don’t withdraw money from a retirement account, especially a tax-deferred one, without exploring every other alternative and analyzing, with a professional who can run the numbers for you if necessary, the long-term financial impact of that withdrawal.