In Your 50s? Don’t Forget About These 3 Surprising Retirement Risks

5 Dont Forget to Address Risks Header ImageHere at Vitucci & Associates, we see a lot of clients in their 50s. Some are talking to an advisor for the first time in their lives, and others have been with us for years. Many are looking ahead to retirement with concern about making the right plans to improve their financial security.

As we always say, one of the key values of an advisor is in the fact that no two situations are exactly the same. What works well for one person might not meet the needs of another, and financial advice is only useful if it can be applied effectively to your situation.

However, there are certain patterns that we see in our practice – and certain risks that often get forgotten about. These three risks might seem obvious when you read them, but they’re all too easy to overlook when you’re worried about retirement plan contributions, investment planning, and your child’s college tuition

The good news is that by taking time to learn about them, you can act to do something about them. There’s no time like the present – so let’s get started.

  1. Your spouse’s views on retirement

If you’re married, you’ve probably had more than one conversation around money – maybe even regularly.

But don’t assume that you’re on the same page about retirement.


Your Retirement Financial Stress Check

Access Your Guide Below

A 2015 survey of couples found that 72% considered themselves to communicate “exceptionally or very well” about their finances. But 43% couldn’t correctly state how much their partner earns – and 10% of those were off by over $25,000.

This basic lack of knowledge was just the tip of the iceberg: the study found numerous surprising miscommunications about retirement among couples.

For example, half of couples weren’t sure how much they’d need to maintain their lifestyle in retirement, and half disagreed on the estimates that each partner provided.

A third of couples disagreed on what their retirement lifestyle would even be.

If you haven’t talked through these issues with your spouse, now is the time to start the conversation. With a clear idea of what you have – and what you want – as a couple, you’ll be better positioned to develop a clear plan for the coming decades.

  1. Your job security

Whether you’ve enjoyed a lifelong career in a stable industry or you made a late career change to a new and exciting field, job security is a question that should be top of mind if you’re in your mid-50s.

That’s because losing your job now is riskier than losing your job at 25 – and it’s a risk that you should acknowledge even if you’re one of the 41% of baby boomers who have been with the same employer for more than 20 years.

How can you mitigate this risk?

  • Keep up to date: Make sure you’re staying on top of trends in your industry and any new skills or tools that can help you excel at your work.
  • Keep networking: Depending on your role and industry, meeting and staying in touch with people in your field could give you more options should you need to shift gears or change employers in the future.
  • Stay involved: While you might feel like you’re through with office politics, you could still put your hand up for new responsibilities, committees, or projects. Staying involved could help you maintain visibility professionally (and, well, politically), build credentials for any sudden career changes, and simply keep your day more interesting.
  • Stick with saving: As we see our retirement balances grow, there’s a temptation to slack off on saving and enjoy other things – try not to give in. Between the importance of your 50s from a savings perspective and the potential tax benefits of additional contributions, taking advantage of your workplace retirement plan (and your income) is generally a good idea.

The steps you can take to build job security and future employability will depend on any number of factors, but hopefully these ideas help you get started.

At this point in life, it can be hard to stay focused on career, but doing so could mean the difference between a smooth transition to retirement and a scary one.

  1. Your health

What would happen if you developed a debilitating illness at age 58?

Or experienced declining energy and ability for5 Dont Forget to Address Risks Info Image work over the coming decade?

Health issues don’t just impact our quality of life, they can cause unexpected changes to our retirement plans – and those changes can have a financial impact that lasts for decades. Whether you have an existing illness or are healthy as a horse, managing your health should be a top priority for your retirement plan.

Of course, there are many forces outside our control when it comes to medical issues. But there are steps you can take to stay relatively strong and healthy. After all, the leading cause of death in the US is heart disease – which in many people is largely preventable.

For example, you could:

  • Quit smoking. It’s a no-brainer for a reason: smoking doesn’t just cause damage today, it increases your risk for numerous other medical problems later in life.
  • Get moving. Exercise is good for the mind and the body – it’s getting started that’s the hard part. Whether it’s roping a buddy into that morning run or taking a new class at the gym, try to find ways to keep active that are interesting, engaging, and fulfilling. You’ll be more likely to stick with it – and to reap the benefits.
  • Eat right. The basics are typically the same for most any “healthy diet.” More vegetables, less junk food. See if you can add more veggies to your life as a starting point, and work up from there.

The hard part with health is that you have to work on it every day, and the benefits are often invisible. If you’ve never had emphysema it’s difficult to recognize how great life is without it. That’s why it can help to look for ways to live a healthy lifestyle that’s also fun, satisfying, and even delicious.

On the other side of the coin, don’t forget to include your health surprises in your retirement plan. Consider stress testing your savings plan to see what would happen if you needed to retire early or pay out-of-pocket for a significant or chronic health problem. This two-pronged approach to planning can help you avoid the fallout from both “lifestyle” and unexpected health problems more effectively.

Ready to put your retirement plan to the test?

 Do you want to find out if your retirement plans are as robust as you think? Our free retirement stress test guide can help. It’ll show you – clearly and in plain English – how to test your retirement readiness on multiple levels, and how to adapt your plan to reduce your exposure to key risks and surprises.

Download our free retirement stress test guide today!


Your Retirement Financial Stress Check

Access Your Guide Below

Let Us Help!

We can discuss this topic and more at a complimentary appointment. As a bay area retirement planning coaches, we can give you a review and make suggestions based on your retirement objectives.

5 Dont Forget to Address Risks Infographic

Important Disclosures

Material provided by Augury Consulting. Augury Consulting is not affiliated with Vitucci & Associates Insurance Services or United Planners Financial Services (United Planners). The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by United Planners.

To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial professional. Please remember that investment decisions should be based on an individual’s goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. Neither diversification nor asset allocation can ensure a profit or prevention of loss in times of declining values. United Planners does not render tax advice.

Securities and advisory services offered through United Planners Financial Services, member FINRA, SIPC. Pasquale Vitucci, CA Insurance Lic. # 0758212, is an Endorsed Agent of Vitucci & Associates Insurance Services CA Insurance Lic. # 0I06319. Vitucci & Associates Insurance Services and United Planners are separate and unrelated companies.
This page contains links to third-party company websites. By selecting a link, you will be leaving our website and launching a new browser window. These links are provided for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as an endorsement, sponsorship, solicitation or other affiliation with respect to any third parties. We are not making any recommendations or providing any advice on securities in particular or investments in general. Neither Vitucci & Associates nor United Planners Financial Services have reviewed the content of, and are not responsible for, the information or the results of the third-party websites.
Further Reading

Couples communication survey:

Baby boomers and jobs:

Heart disease: and

  • 1 What Does Your Older Parent Know About Investing Header ImageWhat Does Your Older Parent Know About Investing?
    If you have elderly parents, there’s a decent chance that they have investment accounts. In fact, investment in equities has fallen for every age group since the financial crisis – except for the elderly, where it’s ticked up just slightly. Today, 54% of Americans over age 65 own stocks in their investment accounts. This adds a potential challenge to helping older parents manage their money. After all, balancing risk and reward – not to mention current income and future growth – takes a little more prudence and planning than balancing the monthly budget. Here’s how you can help.
  • 5 Dont Forget to Have This Critical Family Meeting Header ImageDon’t Forget to Have This Critical Family Meeting
    In many families, there comes a critical moment when a loved one steps in to help another family member with a financial issue. This help might be monetary, like a financial gift or loan, but it doesn’t have to be. Help could take the form of securing death benefits for a newly widowed sister, or practical assistance in keeping a cousin’s household running during a severe illness. It could mean coordinating income distributions and paying bills for an elderly parent, or helping a child or grandchild navigate their first 401(k). These situations often take us by surprise, and that’s normal. But you can help minimize their impact by having a crucial family meeting: the family-wide financial check-in.
  • 4 The Secret to a Lasting Financial Legacy Header ImageThe Secret to a Lasting Financial Legacy
    If you are one of the many people who have dreamed of giving your children and grandchildren a leg-up financially, you might have assumed that you need to have significant wealth to make a big difference. It’s common to imagine that trust funds, mansions, and names like “Rockefeller” are prerequisites when the word legacy is involved. But helping provide for future generations isn’t confined to the wealthy. Individuals at any income level can positively impact the lives of their descendants far more than they imagine. You don’t need millions, but you do need a plan.