The beginning of the year is a popular time for many Americans to self-reflect and set goals – from health goals like losing weight to financial goals like saving for a down payment on a house. As you set your goals for the coming months, consider putting saving for retirement, financial planning and working with a CFP® professional at the top of your list.

For the majority of Americans who aren’t prepared for retirement, shoring up savings should be an essential priority this year. A midterm election-night survey conducted by Heart+Mind Strategies in collaboration with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards found that less than half of those surveyed think that their savings will last through retirement.

It’s never too early to start saving.

More than 60 percent of consumers feel it is harder to retire now than it was in 2013. Looking to the future, 58 percent believe that it will remain difficult to retire on time in 2023. One aspect that adds to the challenge of retiring on time is that Americans are neglecting to prioritize saving for their future – more than two-thirds have less than $100,000 in household financial assets such as cash and retirement savings.

Americans are living longer, meaning preparing for the financial implications of retirement is more important now, more so than ever before. The life expectancy of someone born in 2015 is 79 years old, compared to 57 years old for someone born in 1929. It’s becoming increasingly common for Americans to live well into their 90s. This means more people will need to fund a retirement that could last 10, 20 or even 30 years.

To better prepare for retirement, it’s a best practice to start saving as soon as possible. The average age Americans start to save for retirement is 31. While that might seem young, delaying retirement savings means you are missing out on nearly a decade of savings and asset accumulation after entering the workforce. Pensions are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and the future of Social Security is murky, meaning you may not be able to rely on those funds in retirement. Whether you are 25 or 45, start saving for retirement now and develop a financial plan to increase your savings over time, fueling confidence in your ability to fund your retirement.

Planning now will help you later.

Study after study has shown that no matter one’s income or assets, those who plan financially feel more confident about their retirement and are more prepared to face life challenges. Prioritizing financial planning will allow you to achieve your retirement dreams – whether they be traveling the world or retiring to a remote cabin in the mountains.

One-in-three survey respondents said they are much more proactive about setting and following a financial plan today, given the current state of affairs in our country. Key to taking an effective approach is working with a financial planning professional to develop a holistic plan that takes your entire financial picture into consideration – from assets to debts and everything in between.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents say they are likely to work with an advisor for their retirement needs. However, many are waiting too long to engage an advisor – one-in-four plan to work with a financial planner just a few years before they retire. Waiting until retirement is imminent to start planning means there’s little time to solidify your plans, or pivot based on life events or the economy. Whatever your age, now is the time to start working with a financial planner. You should find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional in your area to ensure you receive the best-in-class standard for financial planning and work with a financial planner required to act in your best interest when providing financial planning.

After putting in decades of hard work, you should have a secure, comfortable and stress-free retirement, and working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional in 2019 will help ensure you enjoy it as much as possible. No matter your age, income or where you are in your career, you should take control of your finances and start planning this year. Your future self will thank you.