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Retirement Planning Strategies In Your 50s

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

retirement planning strategies

If you’re considering financial planning in your 50s, we’ll assume you’ve already built wealth and need to make it work smarter, or you feel like you’re playing catch up. Either way, now is the time to focus on retirement planning to accelerate wealth. Good news - we have the best financial advisers to help you do it!

We’d be delighted to organise a no-obligation, no-cost catch-up. In the meantime, if you’re asking yourself how to catch up on retirement savings in your 50s, here is some low-hanging fruit to help you get started!

Review your retirement goals

Planning for your retirement in your 50s should not feel overwhelming. A very good starting point is to sit down and think through what you want your goals to be. Responses like ‘being happy and healthy’ are valid, but they’re a bit too broad for this exercise. We need to turn them into tangible goals.

What is it that makes you happy? Spending quality time with the kids or grandkids, exercising regularly, frequently holidaying, living in self-contained, quality surroundings? What is it that makes you feel healthy? Regular access to your community gym, social catch-ups, and going to art galleries and museums every other week? When we start making goals tangible, we can value them (even though we’re the first to admit that most of them are probably invaluable!). With defined value comes defined pathways, and with pathways come plans. It’s all about creating a road map of life that is realistic and achievable but also has a generous dose of ambition.

Indeed, now is the time to start thinking about the age at which you want to retire and the annual income you will need throughout. You’ll want to know if your current and projected asset position will facilitate these goals. If not, what needs to be done for you to achieve them? It’s important to determine if you’re on track to paying off any debt that’s secured against your forever home while at the same time making sure your investment assets last to life expectancy (while you’re drawing your required annual income from them).

Yes - a bit to unpack, for sure, but that’s why we’re here!

It’s never too late to understand cashflow and budgeting

If we had a dollar for every time we recommended a client understand their cashflow and start a budget planner, we might have retired a few decades earlier ourselves! We say this not because we’re broken records but because it is truly fundamental to the rest of your financial wealth - and health. The best way to save for your retirement in your 50s is to recognise that expenses are every bit as important as assets… it’s just you want fewer of them!

As such, consider budgeting and planning your financial foundations. If they’re solid, you can begin laying more and more building blocks. If they’re weak or lacking integrity, you’re creating nothing more than a house of cards. Granted, we have a helpful budget calculator on our site, but there’s no better budget expert than one of our experienced financial advisors in Melbourne. It’s easy to get personal finance in your 50s under control and performing its very best for you - we know how because we’ve achieved it for so many other clients at this stage of their lives!

Feed your superannuation

Statistically, you are in one of the - if not the - highest income earning decades of your life. Sure, you could use this to upgrade travel tickets, buy that coveted watch, take the family on a holiday. You could also use it to make personal contributions to your superannuation. Not only does this help you save, it could offset your tax.

It’s important to be aware of your risk profile. Perhaps your 20s and 30s were focused on aggressive growth and high risk. Maybe now you need to adjust the balance to protect what you’ve grown? That doesn’t mean putting everything in cash, but it might mean changing your risk profile from 90% growth assets and 10% defensive assets to 70% growth assets and 30% defensive assets.

In fact, we would recommend an audit of your super fund entirely. We very often find funds just don’t work hard enough unless they’re managed and reviewed carefully, which is something we get real pleasure in doing. Saving for your retirement in your 50s can be painless when you consider superannuation retirement planning strategies such as this.

Get the right health insurance advice

Some great retirement advice is to revisit old contracts and paperwork, especially regarding risk protection insurance. A great example of this was a recent client of ours, just shy of turning 50, who was paying a significant amount on monthly private health insurance. Our researchers love nothing more than combing through the fine print to uncover anomalies that lead to savings. So it was with delight (albeit also a healthy dose of bitter-sweet on behalf of our client) when our team discovered she was paying a smoker’s premium, despite not having touched a cigarette for years. Every little bit adds up, mainly if those little bits are entirely unnecessary.

Avoid significant new debt (and pay off as much of your existing debt as you can)

Are you asking yourself, “How can I build wealth at 50?”. The answer does not lie in gathering more debt. Now, you may be a savvy investor with a serious portfolio who wants to continue to grow your assets. If so, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish (and something we’re well-placed to help you with!). However, if you have limited assets, then now is not the decade to consider taking on more debt to grow your asset wealth. Not unless you’re willing to expose yourself to significant risk (which, again, is another conversation and something we’re very capable of assisting you with). Instead, focus on doubling down on debit, eliminating as much of it as possible, and not acquiring any further.

Estate planning

An estate plan is not something most people relish discussing for obvious reasons. However, if you’re thinking through how to plan for retirement in your 50s then it’s responsible to also give time to estate planning strategies. Your retirement planner is working towards making your later life as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. A big part of that is the peace of mind in knowing that if and when you leave, you also contribute to the comfort of loved ones. You want to know your wealth is being distributed as per your wishes and not someone else’s.

Contact us about how to prepare for retirement in your 50s

There are all some great ideas to get you started in maximising your wealth and planning for your retirement. But the best strategy involves experts who really know what is achievable and how to set realistic goals! We’re all about listening first, then acting by developing a plan that’s bespoke to you. So why not catch up with us for that no-cost, no-obligation meeting and let’s see how painless and prosperous it could be for you.

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