By the time an individual has reached his/her 40s, he/she has learnt various lessons with respect to financial planning. However, what differentiates this decade from their 20s and 30s is serious strategising for your retirement. In short, get rid of incorrect investments made earlier, shed unproductive insurance policies and stocks bought without planning, sell off excess real estate, pay off personal loans, or rebalance your debt, says Rishabh Parakh, chartered accountant and founder of Money Plant consultancy which specialises in executing financial plans.While life pans out differently for different people, according to Parakh, if one has planned efficiently (and all has gone well), a person should have achieved certain milestones by the time he/she has entered the fourth decade. To begin with, you must have a minimum of one residential property. Secondand one factor, that is common to all decades of your lifeat least one year of emergency fund. Third, sufficient amount of life and medical cover. In case you have children, it is expected that you have at least 50 per cent of the required corpus for your child/childrens education. Finally, a strategic financial plan with a proper asset allocation.So, as one continues to plan his/her finances, what are the ways in which one can save up in their 40s? Set auto debits i.e. ECS for all your investments. This will help you get rid of any temptation to spend the figure reflecting in your account. Next, avoid buying luxurious purchases through EMIs. This will unnecessarily burden you financially and affect the money put aside for different investments. Furthermore, do not use your emergency fund other than for an emergency. It goes without saying, but this requires immense self-discipline. However, in times of an emergency, like this pandemic or a job loss, you will thank yourself. Next, focus on your equity exposure basis your asset allocation if not done earlier, advises Parakh.He also stresses on the importance of mutual funds. Start a mutual fund SIP for your children or increase the same and link it to their education corpus. Assess whether the same would be available when your child turns 18 years of age. Finally, save money by paying off your high interest loans, like personal or car loans, he adds.Mistakes to avoidMaking incorrect decisions at any juncture can cost you in future. Parakh points out a few mistakes one could be making in their 40s, which affect their plan of building on their wealth. Still investing without a proper financial plan. Not following the right asset allocation like having excess real estate or fixed investments not linked to goals. Still getting trapped into speculating or uniformed stock investing for making a quick buck. No sufficient life and health insurance cover. Not giving post retirement period the importance it deserves.