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Fifty!! That’s too fast!

Fifty!! That’s too fast!

WOW! How did I get to be 50?  Life has become a blur.  My parents were right – the older you get; the faster the clock runs.

Now the question may become, is there enough time left?  The answer is yes, and action is imperative. Goals for Fifty-somethings include:

  • Increase retirement fund contributions
  • If you have not done so already, identify and implement  the allocation plan for your retirement assets.
  • Plan the intangible aspects of retirement – locations, activities  
  • Investigate Long Term Care
  • Review and update estate plan

Retirement Contributions           

Many people find it easier to increase retirement contributions in their 50s, because the education requirements for the children are handled or about to be handled; mortgage payments are not the burden they were previously, you have developed and are being compensated for your professional skills.  Additionally, the government encourages additional savings by people in their 50s, with “catch up provision contributions in IRAs and employer retirement plans.

Retirement Account Allocation

Review your retirement portfolio, how much is allocated to various asset classes?  Is this allocation too aggressive or too cautious in relation to your impending retirement?  What other assets (pensions, annuities, taxable accounts) are available to you.  Determine your allocation plan, review it annually and make appropriate adjustments.

Intangible Aspects of Retirement

This is often over looked by pre-retirees.  The question is: What will you do in retirement?  Do you have hobbies, interests outside the workplace?  If not, now is the time to nurture these interests.  Retired people who are active socially, intellectually and physically; frequently report themselves as happy and fulfilled in retirement in comparison to retirees who are not engaged socially, intellectually and physically.

Long Term Care

Many financial professionals will recommend that people in their mid-50s to early 60s investigate long term care insurance.  Purchasing the policy in your 50s, when you are healthy is less costly than purchasing it in your 70s when health issues are more likely.  These are benefit rich policies and you should carefully shop features and premiums. 

Estate Plan

Ah, the inevitable, how unfortunate, but we will all deal with it.  It is much better to pre-plan and make this transition easier for your survivors.  No one likes to think about this, but planning will relieve your survivors in this stressful situation.  Perhaps you already have these documents written.  When was the last time you reviewed and updated these documents?  If there have been significant life changes (moving to another state, deaths, divorces, re-marriages, etc.) it  is time to update your will and trusts.

So yes, there is still time to address these issues and improve the likelihood that you have a financially secure and enjoyable lifestyle in retirement.