If you’ve already made it through your 30’s and 40’s, you’re in a special place as you enter your 50’s these days. It’s different then your parents’ and grandparents’ days. If you’re a typical 50-something, you are at a great place and time in your career. 50’s are the new 40’s and you’re still young, vital, and involved as much or more than you ever were even as a 20, 30 or 40-something. Health consciousness has been ingrained in your mind, so much so by TV, you are probably in better shape than anyone who had ever been age 50 in world history!
Your 50-Something Years
This is a big milestone is your life in so very many ways. First, it a marker in your prime working life. You’re now a senior in the real terms of work, experience, and your earnings potential. Now is time to get your ducks all lined up for the big day when you can actually walk into the golden years’ sunshine of retirement which is inching closer to you now more than ever before! So what should you do to be ready? Check out these money tips for your 50’s:
1. Boost Your Retirement Savings
If you haven’t saved up as much for retirement as you’d hoped, now’s the time to boost your contributions. Take a careful look at your budget to see where you can cut back, and devote that money toward retirement. It may be late, but it’s not too late.
2. Secure Your Records
Identity theft is raging out there in the real world, no matter who you are your identity cannot be compromised. It’s messy, and can ruin you, so make sure your information is totally safe and accurate. Now that you have real assets with substantial value, you become even a more likely target.
3. Modify and Monitor Your Private Financial Accounts
Check the types of your accounts to make sure they’re the right ones whose fees, usage, and purposes are really what you need now. Make sure you are revising all password information regularly, it needs to be done. Make the passwords difficult to guess. The hackers (and their software) are really good at it!
4. Be Smart About Social Media
Getting involved is important, but rein in the over sharing tendencies that most succumb to. Announcing that you’re going on vacation for everyone to see may not be a good idea. Protect yourself and your family, use privacy settings, and only use social media for fun and communications and not broadcasting your personal information that may come back and bite you. Everyone reads it.
5. Avoid Frauds and Scammers
If you have “things”, you can bet that thieves are out to get what you have. Be careful about phone calls and letters offering what’s “too good to be true”—investments and alike—simply because they really are just that! Don’t believe that person on the phone is really your grandchild asking for money, nor do they know whether your computer has a virus.
6. Keep the Funds in Your Retirement Plans
No exceptions! Don’t take out a loan or liquidate an account. This is a cardinal rule and just shouldn’t be changed for any reason except a true life-or-death emergency.
7. You May Qualify for Social Security Benefits
It’s time to look at Social Security information to know all the facts. Under certain conditions (such as disability or survivorship), you or your spouse or your dependent child can receive Social Security benefits before the traditional ages of 66 or 67.
8. Senior Discounts Start at 50
Yippee! Join AARP for some terrific benefits for auto savings, dining out, travel, and so much more! For a very reasonable annual fee, you also get tips and discounts on shopping, investments, and insurance.
9. Plan Your Retirement Budget
After 50, it’s time to prepare for that new world you will be living in! Crunch the numbers for a budget you can live with in retirement, and test drive it now. If you examine it now and see where cutting back is appropriate, it allows you the time you need to adjust.
When you decide to retire, whether it is 40, 50, 60, or 70+, it can only happen if you plan properly for it. It’s not something that you can predict like a science project because there are so many variables involved. But a smart person thinks and revises and prepares all the time. And when life changing events occur, you must face them and adjust.
So you thought that the financial middle ages were going to be a cake walk? Not so fast, like anything else you want to run smoothly, you’ll have to work at it and make it happen. You have the knowledge, tools, inspiration and family and friends to get it going, so start right now no matter what age you are living in!
What are you doing to make your Middle Ages a Renaissance? Have you put in the effort to make this the “time of your life”?