Staring 50 in the face but don’t have much of a retirement account? That’s OK. Starting late is always better than never. We get it – you got married in your 20s, had kids in your 30s, shelled out money for your kids to go to high school or college in your 40s, and now your savings are understandably tapped. No worries. You will still have 10 to 15 years to pull together a decent nest egg.
Be Smart About Your Bonuses
Everyone loves bonus or tax return time. A fun trip? Perhaps some new outfits? Well, at this stage in your life, it’s best to sock it away for retirement. Do this with any unexpected lump-sum payments. Add to your emergency fund, too, which should cover you for between three and six months during financially difficult times. Get aggressive with stocks, but keep a close eye on your broker to make sure he has your best interests at heart. If you suspect not, call our securities fraud lawyers.
Match to the Max
Utilizing an employer match to the fullest for your 401(k) is a no-brainer. If you have any IRA accounts, do the same. Did you know you can add $6,000 above your contribution limits? This calculator by Bankrate spells out how much you need to save every week, month and year to hit your retirement goals. If you have a savings account, set up automatic deposits out of your paycheck every week. If you already do this, it’s time to ramp up the amount.
You want to save 20 percent of your income throughout your 50s, so consider putting more money in taxable accounts like brokerage accounts. Whatever you do, don’t take early cash distributions, because if you’re under the age of 59 ½, you’ll pay taxes and early withdrawal penalties.
Get More Life Insurance
If you already have a life insurance policy (and you should), add more to the existing policy or tack on an additional one. Your spouse and children need to be protected in the event you meet your untimely demise. Take a look at your homeowners insurance and make sure you have enough coverage.
Give Your Retirement Plan Regular Check Ups
A modest retirement plan in your 30s and 40s won’t cut it as you enter your 50s. Not only do you have to start getting more aggressive, you have to continually update your accounts, verify that they’re still working for you, and change them if you need to. A stock health check up every so often to will make sure the goals you set last year will still fit your goals for this year. Never get complacent. A comfortable retirement is within your grasp, even though it may see like it’s speeding toward you.