(NC) If you’ve been in the work force for 20 years, you’re likely in your peak earning years. As your finances improve, now is the time to also focus on improving your long-term financial future. Here are some tips from the experts at Investors Group.

Pay off debt. Apply some of your extra money to paying down your mortgage and other debts.

Build for retirement. Develop an effective investment portfolio and apply an ever-increasing amount of your income to your portfolio and other vehicles for retirement savings, such as registered retirement savings plans and tax-free savings accounts. The earlier you invest in RRSPs, for example, the more you maximize the magic of compounding. By making your maximum RRSP contribution each year, you’ll maximize your tax savings.

Identify your priorities. As your income increases, it’s tempting to purchase something significant, like a cottage, vehicle or boat. But beware of spending too much now at the expense of your retirement years. It’s better to identify your priorities and budget to achieve them without compromising your future.

Help your kids. It’s tougher these days for young people to become financially independent. You may want to help yours with tuition and other financial support, perhaps for several years beyond college or university while they get established in their careers. A registered education savings plan can help rein in the rising costs of a post-secondary education. Investing a few dollars each earnings period in a fund for “kids’ support” is also a good idea.

Support your parents. You’re a member of the “sandwich generation,” and so could find yourself supporting them in some fashion. Include that possibility in your budgeting decisions.

Plan to retire. Whether you intend to work into the traditional retirement years or are aiming to retire early, make sure you have a plan that will get you there in financial comfort.

Contact an advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. More information is available from an Investors Group consultant.