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How to Prepare for Retirement in Your 50's and 60's


A comfortable and financially stable retirement is one of the most important goals for many Americans today. However, not many individuals  prepare for their retirement well during the last decades of employment, making them fall short of achieving their retirement American dream. 

Of the most common dilemmas for individuals in their 50's and 60's is how best they will fund their lifestyle once they get into retirement. According to the Social Security Administration, baby boomers have a life expectancy of around 85 years.4 But seven out of 10 baby boomers are never confident that they have adequate financial resources to sustain them up to 85 years, according to a study by Bankers Life Center.5

For you to prepare for your retirement, your 50's and 60's are the years to aggressively eliminate debt from your life, save more than you did in your previous years, and work to develop a sound retirement plan based on your current assets, investments, income and savings. 

Here are few tips to help you prepare for retirement in your 50's and 60's:

Begin Serious Planning for Retirement

In the last decade prior to retirement, it is imperative that you get a clear picture of your financial status. Begin by taking stock of where you stand with assets, income, savings, and most importantly debt. List all your assets and calculate them against debts and expenses such as mortgage, insurance, vehicle loans and more. Having a clear picture of where your finances stand forms the basis of your retirement planning.

Next, consider what you would like your retirement lifestyle to look like and estimate your expected monthly budget. Would you like to maintain the same lifestyle as when you were working? Would you be moving to a new location? Do you have family members to support even in retirement? Do you plan on working part-time during retirement? All these questions and more will help you form a well balanced budget for retirement.

Finally, decide on when to retire so that you can plan on the savings and debt-reduction steps to take for you to secure your financial wellness in retirement early. Here is a helpful online chart from the Social Security Administration to guide you.1

Boost Your Retirement Savings

The 50's and 60's are prime years for saving towards retirement. For most individuals that did not save enough in their earlier years, this is the time to play “catch up.” Luckily, the federal government has put laws in place to help such individuals maximize their retirement savings.

If you are 50 or older, one of the best ways to catch up and boost your retirement savings is by contributing more to tax-advantaged plans such as IRAs (Individual retirement accounts) and workplace plans such as a 401(k). The federal laws allow individuals aged 50 or older to contribute more to these accounts, with 2018 allowing an extra $1,000 to IRAs for a total of $6,500, and an extra $6,000 to 401(k)s for a total of $24,500.2

Cut On Your Expenditure and Clear Your Debts 

As you seek to boost your retirement savings in your 50's and 60's, cutting down on expenditure is unavoidable. Proper budgeting will help you cut spending on certain things and you can put that money into a retirement savings account instead.

Clearing your debts before getting into retirement is equally important. However, this is one of the most common challenges facing many retirees. Housing is often the largest portion of debt for individuals aged 55 and above, according to the Employee Research Institute.3 If you are not sure of the right steps to help you reduce debt from your life, consult a professional for advice tailored to meet your specific situation.

If you are really looking forward to enjoying a comfortable and secure retirement dream, you have to plan for your future days now to help you secure your retirement financial wellness in a smart way.

1 https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/agereduction.html#chart

2 https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-catch-up-contributions

3 https://www.ebri.org/pdf/notespdf/EBRI_Notes_02_Feb-13_DebtEld-Contribs.pdf

4 https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p25-1140.pdf

5 http://www.centerforasecureretirement.com/media/292434/168600-paying-for-the-new-retirement-report.pdf

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as investment, tax, or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.