As your portfolio builds and you have more money at stake, focus on how you invest, making sure to balance your ability to handle risk with your need for growth.
Don't overreach. Over the long term, a higher stock allocation will typically grow your nest egg faster. You'll also have to live with more uncertainty, though. So be realistic about what you can handle, using returns following the 2008 financial crisis as a rough guide.
Would you be able to hold on if you experienced that kind of loss again? "If you capitulate" -- that is, sell -- "at the wrong time, it's over," says Madison-based financial planner Mike Dubis.
Get the free lunch. There's one way to boost your investment returns without adding risk: Lower the fees you pay on your investments. A study by Towers Watson found that cutting investment fees from 1% to 0.2% -- the cost of many index funds -- could save enough to fund an extra nine years of retirement for someone making $75,000 and saving 8% a year.
Catching up gives your more choices. At 50 and up, you're allowed to make larger "catchup" contributions to your 401(k) and IRA. The extra savings makes the risk/reward tradeoff in your portfolio less fraught: It will be easier to hit your goal with safer, but lower-returning, assets. At the same time, losses in the stock market are less likely to knock you below the minimum you'll need to retire.