Building wealth: Best moves if you're 45 to 54

Money magazine's 101 Ways to Build Wealth package offers blueprints for the different stages of your life on how to achieve real financial security. In tips #53 through #77, we offer advice for 45- to 54-year-olds.

Start saving for future expenses
target mix age 50

During your peak earning years, you need to ramp up your retirement savings and fight the instinct to spend it.

53. Look into your future. Don't let your energy flag now.

To stay motivated to save, envision yourself in 20 or 30 years. Researchers Daniel Bartels of Columbia University and Oleg Urminsky of the University of Chicago found that people who feel connected to their future self are more willing to wait for a reward.

You can create an aged picture of yourself at Merrill Edge's

54. Expect to splurge. In one test, people spent 79% more on special outlays like birthdays than they had forecast.

The study, by Abigail Sussman of Princeton and Adam Alter of New York University, found ordinary costs easier to predict. Create an "extras" category in your budget.

  @Money - Last updated April 17 2013 05:24 PM ET
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