ADJUSTING YOUR FINANCES IN YOUR 50s

#aging #AdjustingFinances #retirement #investments
Are you in your 50s?
Do you have enough saved, or are you on track to have enough saved, for retirement?
Wes Moss, who writes the Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, took on this subject in his March 17, 2019, column. He also is chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors, and has a Money Matters radio show that airs Sunday mornings on WSB radio in Atlanta.
First, Moss talks about the TSL strategy. That stands for taxes, savings and life. He says that for a younger person, 30 percent of your income should go to taxes, 20 percent to savings and the remaining 50 percent for life expenses.
But, when you reach 50, he says, you may want to adjust those percentages to put a bigger percentage into savings.
He also says many people save for their children’s college expenses. But college tuition can be covered through loans, scholarships (and having the child work through college), among other things. But there are no loans to cover your retirement, unless you take out a reverse mortgage on your house.
In short, Moss advises to make saving for a child’s education secondary to saving for your own retirement.
Moss also suggests playing catch-up with your retirement contributions, which the law allows you to do at that age. As for paying off one’s mortgage, as Moss advises, give it some thought before you dump cash into your house. If your interest rate is low, say, 5 percent or less, and you have an investment adviser who routinely can make you a lot more than that every year, it may be wiser to put your cash into other investments rather than your house. The aforementioned reverse mortgage, or a home equity line of credit, may be the only ways to get that cash back out of your house.
That brings us to Moss’ other point: stick with stocks. If you have your retirement nest egg invested in stocks or their derivatives, don’t panic at every downturn and don’t be overly cautious, and grab profits, on every upturn. If you have a good investment adviser, he or she will guide you to investments that are suited to your situation. Adjust as needed, but don’t dump stocks wholesale based on the news.
You may say this is all well and good if you have lots of money. If you can barely cover your taxes and life expenses, how in the world can you save, with your current income? That could be discussed in detail in a different setting, but it boils down to spending less on things that aren’t necessities, and saving more.
There is also another way to add to your income: check out one of the many vehicles out there that allow you to leverage your non-work time, perhaps just a few hours a week. You could potentially dwarf the income from your job eventually. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, in this day and age, your 50s could be a scary time. You’re at the age when your employer may yearn for someone younger , and cheaper, to do your job. Company reorganizations happen frequently, and many people find themselves unexpectedly out of work.
In past generations, people didn’t really start saving for retirement until their 50s. Decades ago, companies cherished their experienced employees. Now, they are seen as a mere cost, in most cases.
You can certainly make adjustments to your retirement plan in your 50s, but it’s better to start a retirement plan much earlier in life. Today, you don’t know when, or at what age, your retirement will come. And, in most cases, it will come, whether you’d planned for it or not.
Peter

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