During your 40s, 50s and 60s, you'll probably have a clearer idea of how you want to spend your retirement. You'll also probably be earning more at this point in your life than you ever have in your career. And, as you pay off your mortgage and your children grow older, your expenses will likely decrease as well. You can take advantage of this opportunity to raise the amount you invest for retirement by increasing your contribution to your employer-sponsored plan or other tax-deferred accounts, or by adding to your brokerage firm account.
As you transition toward retirement, you may want to begin shifting your portfolio's asset allocation from more aggressive to moderate and conservative allocations. By doing so, if the market experiences a downturn, you'll have helped protect the assets you've worked so hard to accumulate.