How To Plan For Retirement In Your 50s

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[139] – If you’re in your fifties, you’re in your peak earning years, and finally have the time and money to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, but have you kept up with saving for retirement? You can save for retirement and still enjoy the fun part of being 50+.

In this episode, Jeremy Keil talks about how to plan for retirement in your fifties with five steps. He goes over the different catch-up contribution opportunities, avoiding lifestyle creep, researching your longevity, getting your insurance ready for the last decade of your career, and getting your investments ready for retirement.

Jeremy discusses:

  • What saving opportunities become available in your fifties
  • What lifestyle creep is and how to avoid it
  • Why researching longevity is important to determine how much you’ll need in retirement
  • The types of insurance you need to get ready for the last decade of your career
  • How to prepare your investments as you approach your retirement
  • And more

5 Steps To Plan For Your Retirement In Your Fifties

Step 1: Save For Retirement With Catch-Up Contributions

One of the first steps to plan for retirement in your fifties is to take advantage of catch-up contributions. This means contributing more money to your retirement accounts than the standard limit. By doing this, you can make up for any past lost time or missed contributions.

There are a few different catch-up contribution opportunities available once you hit 50:

  • 401(k)
  • IRA
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you’re 50 or older and working, you can contribute $30,000 into your 401(k) in 2023. And for your IRA, you can contribute $1000 more than those younger than 50. If you are 55 or older, you have a $1000 catch-up contribution limit increase in your Health Savings Account (HSA).

Step 2: Avoid Lifestyle Creep

Another important step to planning for retirement in your fifties is to avoid lifestyle creep. This means being mindful of your spending habits and not increasing your expenses as your income increases.

When you’re in your 50s, you’re likely earning the most money you’ve ever earned and have the least expenses, leading to the temptation to spend more money because it’s available to you.

But you don’t want to spend more than you plan to during your retirement because if you spend more now on a regular basis than you plan to in retirement, the sudden financial limitation will feel restrictive.

So, one way to avoid lifestyle creep is to make sure you’re saving as much as possible. By putting money directly into your retirement savings instead of seeing it in your bank account, you’ll be less inclined to spend it now and have it readily available to you when you need it.

By avoiding lifestyle creep, you can save more money for retirement and ensure that you’re living within your means.

Step 3: Research Your Longevity

Many studies show that you’ll spend more time in retirement than you expect, where you often retire earlier and live longer than you thought you would during your retirement.

Retirement is supposed to be fun. You can spend your fifties dreaming about your retirement, and what type of retirement you want to have, but while you’re dreaming about that fun retirement, we’d like you to research how you can make this retirement dream work.

Part of the research is to look at your longevity. Consider when you plan to retire, how long you’re likely to live and how much money you’ll need to support yourself during retirement. 

There are two things you should consider when researching your longevity: setting an age range you want to retire as opposed to one specific date and taking into account the possibility of outliving your finances. Use tools like Longevity Illustrator to learn more.

By doing this, you can make informed decisions about your retirement savings and ensure that you have enough money to last throughout your retirement.

Step 4: Get Your Insurances Ready

Another important step to plan for retirement in your fifties is to get your different insurances ready. 

Insurance is important at the beginning of your career. You might have a new house, a new spouse, and kids and need things like term insurance and disability insurance. You get to a certain point where you feel like your house is paid for, your kids are out of the house, and you don’t need those insurances anymore.

 Well, insurance is there to protect someone who’s going to be missing out on your income if you’re not there and that someone might be you. The older we get, the more likely we are to suffer health complications or become disabled, and if you’re 55 and at your peak earning years, planning to retire for the next ten years from now, you may not have all the money that you need for the rest of your life saved up. 

You might need to protect yourself by still having disability insurance when you’re 50 and older. It’s important to consider it because even if some expenses go away, it doesn’t mean you don’t need that particular insurance.

The same thing goes for life insurance. Just because your mortgage is paid for and the kids are out of the house, it doesn’t mean your spouse doesn’t rely on you, especially if there is a large difference in income.

By reviewing your health insurance, life insurance, and other types of insurance to ensure that you have adequate coverage, you can protect yourself and your family from unexpected expenses and ensure that you’re prepared for any potential health issues that may arise during retirement.

Step 5: Prepare Your Investments

Step 5 is to prepare your investments when planning for retirement in your fifties. This means adjusting your investment strategy to ensure that you’re maximizing your returns while minimizing your risk.

It’s tempting to focus on growing your money until a specific date and then switch to income, but the reality is it’s not just a flick of a switch. As early as your fifties, it’s important to start adjusting your investments for retirement. It’s vital to have a well-thought-out plan for your investments as you smoothly sail toward retirement.

The retirement red zone carries greater risks as you approach your retirement. By proactively adjusting and changing your investments based on your plan, you can navigate potential investment risks and make informed decisions.

It’s important to work with a financial advisor to develop an investment strategy that’s tailored to your specific needs and goals. By doing this, you can ensure that your investments are working for you and helping you achieve your retirement goals.


To learn more about preparing for your retirement in your fifties, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us using the contact information provided below!


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