A comfortable and financially stable retirement is one of the most important goals for many Americans today. However, not many individuals plan for their retirement well during the last decades of employment, making them fall short of achieving their retirement dream.
One of the most common dilemmas for individuals in their 50s and 60s is figuring out how 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 for up to 85 years, according to a study by Bankers Life Center.5
For you to secure your retirement, your 50s and 60s 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 secure retirement in your 50s and 60s:
Tip 1. Begin Serious Planning for Retirement
In the 10 years 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 you have now? 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 before entering retirement . Here is a helpful online chart from the Social Security Administration to guide you.1
Tip 2. Boost Your Retirement Savings
The 50s and 60s are prime years for saving towards retirement. For most individuals who 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 you maximize your 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, so that in 2019 you can contribute an extra $1,000 to an IRA for a total of $7,000, and if you have a 401(k), you can contribute an extra $6,000 for a total of $25,000.2
Tip 3. Reduce Your Expenses
As you seek to boost your retirement savings in your 50s and 60s, cutting down on your discretionary expenses becomes necessary. Proper budgeting will help you track your expenses so that you can determine what spending can be cut or eliminated and that money can be put into a retirement savings account instead. By practicing these good habits now, you'll be in better financial shape going into retirement.
One way of looking at your personal scorecard at this stage of life, is to focus not so much on your earnings, but on your net worth. How much of what you make are you keeping? Growing investment assets that will provide income in retirement should be a priority over immediate gratification spending on discretionary items.
Tip 4. Clear Your Debts
Clearing your debts before 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, you have to plan for your future days now to help you secure your retirement financial wellness in a smart way.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. 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.