3 5 Ways to Improve Retirement Readiness in Your 50s Header Image

5 Ways to Improve Retirement Readiness in Your 50's

You’re saving money, getting serious about financial planning, and monitoring your investment accounts. But retirement planning isn’t just about saving money: it’s about the habits and lifestyle you build ahead of your golden years. Read on for 5 ways that you can start building retirement readiness here and now – and none of them have to do with your portfolio.
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How to Prepare for a Rocky Start to Retirement

What happens when you have a great retirement plan – only to get caught off-guard with an early retirement? Our client Linda experienced exactly this scenario. Currently 61, Linda is single and has been in complete control of her finances since her divorce nearly 20 years ago. A client of ours for years, Linda was on track to retire at age 67 with her investment accounts, Social Security, and a deferred annuity to see her through the golden years. That is, until she was unexpectedly laid off at age 59 – and struggled to find a new job. Here’s what Linda did as we helped her navigate this challenging situation.
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What’s a Retirement Stress Test, and Why Do I Need One?

If you follow the financial news, you may have heard about annual “stress tests” at the major banks. These tests help determine whether banks have the financial stability to get through a major problem, like a market crash or economic downturn. It’s a worthwhile undertaking, but for the average person these tests might seem a little abstract. Oftentimes, banks will incorporate possibilities like a rising interest rates, a collapse in emerging markets, or an economic boom leading to higher inflation. You might even be falling asleep just thinking about it! But stress tests are useful for individuals, too – especially pre-retirees
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In Your 50's? Don't Forget to Up Your Contributions

Like every decade of life, the 50s comes with both perks and stresses. You might be reaching the pinnacle of your career, both in terms of earning power and knowledge, but you might also be waking up in the morning wondering when you can feasibly escape from the rat race. Your kids might be starting their adult lives with promising futures, but you might also be struggling with the emotional and practical realities of having aging parents. With so much going on, it’s no wonder that retirement planning often falls by the wayside. Who has the time? Most of us feel like we don’t. But just like going to the dentist and getting some exercise, we have to make the time – and the effort. Here’s why.
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The Secret to Financial Planning in Your 50's: Understanding Value

There’s an old yarn that economists know the price of everything and the value of nothing. But they’re not the only ones: in a clever experiment, the behavioral economist Richard Thaler showed that most of us have trouble differentiating between the two. This human quirk isn’t just an interesting puzzle for economists to ponder: it’s a real risk for investors and those looking for a better path towards retirement.
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3 Surprising Ways to Prepare for Retirement in Your 50s

Choosing the “right” way to invest and plan for retirement isn’t simple. Each situation is different, and the best choices will be heavily dependent on your finances, preferences, and plans for your golden years. But there are ways to help boost your financial plan – and some of them might surprise you. Read on to learn about 3 strategies that often get overlooked by pre-retirees, even though they could help boost financial security when it’s needed most. Of course, whether a given investment strategy is right for you is heavily dependent on your personal financial situation, goals, and preferences. Be sure to give careful consideration of the risks and benefits before making any big decisions.
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How to Manage Debt in Your 50's

Your 50s are an important time to focus on long-term financial planning and to make a push towards putting yourself in the best financial position possible.  So where does debt fit into the picture? A common situation Take Nancy and John, who are both in their mid-50s. They’ve been consistently setting money aside in their 401(k)s and are on their way towards having a reasonable nest egg by the time they retire. Nancy and Ted own their home with 15 years remaining on their mortgage and about $8,000 in credit card debt.
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I’m in my 50s: Should I Pay Off My Mortgage Before Retirement?

For many pre-retirees, the 50s is a time of serious financial planning. With retirement in your sights, you might be prioritizing savings, considering your post-retirement lifestyle, and thinking about how to tackle a number of important planning issues. One key question? What to do about your mortgage. Should you pay it off before you retire or just stick with the program? Unfortunately, as we tell our clients, there is no simple, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It’s important to understand the pros and cons and consider how they relate to your personal financial situation before making an educated decision. Here’s how to get started.
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Don’t Forget to Get Involved: How to Become the Co-Pilot of Your Family’s Finances

As the saying goes, better late than never. Educating yourself about your family’s finances and about financial planning in general may seem like a fool’s errand at this point in your life. But given the very real risk of widowhood for Baby Boomer women, it’s anything but. However, getting started might seem tricky. Are you supposed to pepper your spouse with questions? Read the stock pages of the newspaper? Go back to school for an economics degree? Thankfully, you don’t have to do any of those (well, you might need to ask some questions). But here’s what you can do to become the co-pilot of your family’s finances.
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The Secret to Family Estate Planning

Most of us don’t really like the topic of estate planning. Even when you feel that it is necessary to raise the issue, it can be difficult to initiate the conversation once your loved ones are sitting right there. We have seen this firsthand in our office on numerous occasions and spoken about it privately with many clients who share these feelings. But the fact is that more families need to have estate planning conversations, and that requires accepting the reality of what an estate plan is and who it’s for. At any time, your family’s primary breadwinner, head honcho, undisputed matriarch, class clown, or emotional center could become incapacitated or even die. Whatever your role in the family, is to the benefit of everyone else that they know what to do when faced with this kind of situation. Here’s how to start.