On to the 50s. I think I’m actually looking forward to this decade. I mean, I rarely meet a 50 year old who doesn’t seem like they’ve at least got some of life figured out. On the flip side, I do not. Financially speaking, at least, I’ll let you folks benefit from my research… if I actually have any readers in their 50’s with additional advice – that’s what the comment section is for!
1.) Assess your financial state for retirement. Again.
Lots of people get hit pretty hard in their 40’s and 50’s helping to send their kids to college. Make sure you’re still as on track as you thought you’d be when did this assessment in your 40’s (you did do that then, right?). Check out this handy calculator from AARP to make that assessment a breeze.
2.) Start thinking about any work you may want to do in retirement.
A good way to ease into full retirement is with a part time job doing something you actually like. This article is about a retiree who works as a National Parks Ranger in the summers and loves it. I’m not talking about bagging groceries here, but look into different ideas that interest you. Love traveling and talking? What about applying to work as a Travel Guide on a cruise line? Always wanted to be an editor? Maybe now is the time to start polishing those skills and putting some effort into building an elance.com profile?
3.) Turn as much of your earnings into investment capital as possible.
Toys always looks like fun and in your 50’s, you’ve definitely earned that vacation home, yacht, Porsche, whatever you’ve been dreaming of for decades, but honestly, the wiser thing to do is invest it (although you could rent that vacation home out for most of the year if you buy it in the right spot).
4.) Check on your investment portfolio.
Your 50’s are a time when your portfolio may need some rebalancing – especially if you’ve neglected checking it out for the last 30 years. The high risk, aggressive growth ways of your 20’s and 30’s should start to scale back around now.
5.) Prioritize debt repayment.
Your initial retirement plans probably did not factor in owing a ton of money. If you’re behind on saving for retirement, any extra cash should go there, but if you’re on track, all extra cash should go towards paying down debt. At this point, it should go without saying that credit card debt should be paid down first.
6.) Join AARP
They get all kinds of awesome discounts and perks. I ❤ discounts. I can’t wait to join AARP.
7.) Take care of getting proper insurance.
You should already have health insurance and long term care insurance. If you no longer have anyone dependent on you, you could consider cashing out your life insurance and just prepaying for your funeral.
8.) If you haven’t already, make sure you have a will.
If you haven’t already taken care of this, you really, really, really need a will, advance medical directive and power of attorney. It’s not going to get any less weird to take care of, so just bite the bullet and do it.
And on that note, check out my giveaway for a free copy of The Wealthy Barber by Dave Chilton! Contest ends September 30th.