Five Smart Money Moves to Make in Your Early 50s
As the saying goes, “There’s no time like the present.” As you approach your early 50s, planning for your retirement should be a high priority, even if your retirement date is ten or more years away.
You’re in your prime earning years, so it’s an ideal time to refine your financial strategy to ensure you achieve your goals for a comfortable, secure retirement. While you are beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of a tunnel, now is not the time to take your foot off the proverbial “retirement” peddle. You should be uber-focused on maximizing your retirement savings efforts and investment returns.
The blog will look at five smart money moves for your financial future.
1. Optimize Your Retirement Savings Strategies
Are you taking full advantage of all the avenues for contributing toward your retirement? If you are unsure, these strategies can be a great opportunity to maximize your retirement savings and accumulate more assets to generate income during your retirement years.
Here are the 2024 contribution limits by retirement account type:
- 401(k), 403(b), 457 Plans, and Thrift Savings Plans:
- The contribution limit is now $23,000
- If you’re 50 or older, you can add an extra $7,500, making your total contribution $30,500
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA):
- The maximum you can contribute has risen to $7,000
- Those aged 50 and above can still make an additional “catch-up” contribution of $1,000
- SIMPLE Retirement Accounts:
- Contribution limit is $16,000
- For those 50 or older, the catch-up limit remains $3,500
- Income Limits for IRA Deductibility and Roth IRA Contributions:
- If you’re single and covered by a workplace retirement plan, your income phase-out for deductible IRA contributions is $87,000
- For married couples filing jointly where the spouse contributing to an IRA is covered by a workplace plan, the amount is $143,000
- If you’re married and not covered by a workplace plan, but your spouse is, the amount is $240,000.
- For Roth IRA contributions, singles and heads of household have a phase-out amount of $161,000, while married couples filing jointly have an amount of $240,000.
- Roth IRAs: Roth IRAs offer tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals in retirement. Unlike traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs have no required minimum distributions (RMDs), making them the more flexible option.
- Back-Door Roth IRA Conversions: Back-door conversions offer a workaround for those with income levels that disqualify them from directly contributing to a Roth IRA. This involves contributing to a traditional IRA and then converting it to a Roth IRA.
2. Balanced Investment Approach
Everyone’s retirement goals are unique, especially when comparing someone nearing retirement to someone with decades left in the workplace. Regardless of when you plan to retire or your end goals, if you are like most people, you share a common objective – growing your retirement savings without taking on excessive risk.
If you are still contributing to a company-sponsored retirement plan, have an experienced financial advisor assist you in reviewing your various investments within that account.
As you get closer to retirement, it may not be appropriate to be highly concentrated in one or a few asset classes (stocks, bonds, real estate). You want to ensure that you have a conservative mix of investments that perform well in various market conditions.
As retirement nears, it’s wise to reassess your investment strategy. Shifting towards a more conservative mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets can help manage risk while providing growth opportunities.
3. Strategize Social Security Benefits
Understanding when to take social security is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. While you can start receiving benefits as early as age 62, waiting until your full retirement age or even until 70 can significantly increase your monthly benefits.
Consider consulting a specialist in retirement planning and social security in Connecticut to analyze your situation and help you make an informed decision.
4. Reevaluate Your Investment Risk Tolerance
As you move closer to retirement, rethinking your risk tolerance is often advisable and necessary. It all depends on the type of financial advice you have received during your latter working years or early retirement years.
The closer you get to retirement, the more risk-averse you may become. Your retirement assets are at or near their peak, so you have more to lose if there is a significant downturn in the market during your last few years of employment.
However, there is another side to this coin. You and your spouse may retire and live another 30 or more years during retirement. This may be almost as long as your working years. Think of everything that happened in your working years and project that into your retirement years.
Inflation is another “risk” that can wreak havoc on your retirement plans as it can erode the purchasing power of your money over time.
An experienced New Haven, CT, financial advisor can help you balance risk and return in a way that suits your situation, risk tolerance, and retirement timeline.
5. Consider Changing Financial Advisors If Necessary
If your current financial advisor isn’t meeting your needs for the right types of advice, or you are concerned the advisor is not experienced enough to handle your long-term needs, then you should consider making a change.
Look for an experienced advisor who works with affluent clients like you and specializes in retirement planning.
One of your most important decisions is who you select to help you manage your retirement assets that must last for several decades. The right financial advisor will make a difference.
About Heritage Capital
Financial advisors vary greatly in their knowledge, services, and results. Many prioritize their need for income over their need to achieve long-term financial goals.
Heritage Capital is different. Our main role is to help our clients achieve their need for comfortable lifestyles during retirement and financial security later in life when they need it the most.
We use a unique Active Management Approach, aiming for higher investment returns over full market cycles while managing market risks during downturns.
We operate independently, free from any potential conflicts of interest typical at Wall Street firms. And our fee-only structure means we don’t earn commissions for selling investment products. This allows us to focus solely on what’s best for you.
Ready to learn about our retirement planning services? Connect with us today to schedule an introductory call.