If you’re nearing your golden years, it’s tempting to think that it’s too late to fix up your retirement plan. While it’s true that you do have limited time to continue saving, a decade is more than enough time to make necessary changes to your retirement plan that will allow you to follow through and retire at the standard age of 65.
Not sure if you’ll have enough to retire? Freedom Debt Relief recommends using this simple strategy to determine if your retirement plan is on track; add up all of your life savings (the amount in your 401K, your investments, and any cash savings you have in your accounts) and divide by 25. If the number you come up with is a reasonable amount of money for you to live on for one year, you can rest assured that you are on track for retirement. If not, don’t panic- there’s still time to change your savings plan and get back on the road to retirement. Take these tips from Freedom Debt Relief to shape up your retirement plan as soon as possible.
Create a plan to get out of debt. Freedom Debt Relief has found that one of the biggest things that cause a drain on retirement contributions is debt. Formulating a plan now to reduce your debt will free up more money that you would have been paying in interest. Sit down with your monthly expenses and see where you can afford to downsize- perhaps moving into a smaller home after your children move out or selling an extra car you no longer need- and devote that money towards paying down your outstanding debts.
Maximize your contributions. As you get closer to retirement, the maximum amount of money that you can contribute to your retirement accounts increases. Starting at age fifty, you are eligible to increase your contributions to your 401(k) account by an additional $6,000 annually, and your Roth IRA or traditional IRA by $1,000 a year. Freedom Debt Relief recommends making the maximum annual contributions to your retirement plan of choice in order to take full advantage of your employers match plan if they have one and to take advantage of any interest that will accrue on your accounts early.
Reevaluate your insurance. When they are younger, many people choose to buy extra insurance to protect themselves and their young children from financial ruin should an emergency arise. This can be especially true if the home is a single-income household that depends upon one parent’s salary. However, as you reach age fifty, your children have likely reached adulthood and may even be financially independent themselves. Freedom Debt Relief recommends reevaluating which insurance protections you still need, and removing any premium coverage that you don’t require- that extra money can be put directly into your retirement accounts or can be used to pay down debts.
Planning for retirement at age fifty can be difficult- but it’s not impossible to change your current strategies and make sure you have enough to finish out your working life strong. Straightening out your retirement strategy at age fifty is all about cutting costs so you can make the maximum final contributions to your accounts before the day in which you say goodbye to your job and hello to the golden years comes.