How to Step Up Retirement Planning During Middle Age

Retirement planning tips tend to vary by the age of the audience. When a financial planner advises twentysomethings, the focus is usually just on making every effort to save, to open an IRA, and to minimize debt. For those over 60, the focus shifts to making smart decisions about Social Security withdrawals.

But what about individuals who are squarely in the middle—those in their 40s or 50s who are looking to make sure their retirement planning is on track?

Certainly, there are some specific strategies that these individuals might employ, most of them stemming from the fact that, during middle age, you tend to hit your peak earning point. Hopefully, middle-aged savers have a bit more money to work with then their twentysomething, fresh-out-of-college counterparts.

Retirement Planning in Your 40s and 50s

As you adjust to the particulars of middle-aged retirement planning, here are a few keys to keep in mind:

Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to save. In particular, note your options for making “catchup” contributions to your retirement savings account. In 2015 folks over 50 are allowed to contribute an additional $1,000 to an IRA and $6,000 to a 401(k)—significant ways to beef up your retirement savings.

Revisit your retirement account selection. When you were younger, you may have chosen to go with a traditional IRA, grabbing some immediate tax savings. In the long run, though, Roth IRAs may provide a more significant retirement distribution, as all earnings are tax-free. Speak with your retirement planner about the account that’s best for you.

Get some exercise. Yes, we mean physical exercise. The reason we say that is because one of the big hidden costs of retirement is rising healthcare costs. Doing everything you can to stay healthy will not only provide you with a longer life, but potentially with lower healthcare expenses.

Revisit your estate planning. If you haven’t done any serious estate planning since you were 30 years old, circumstances in your life have probably changed—and it’s best to ensure that your retirement plan takes into account your broader wishes for a legacy and an estate.

At 40 or even at 50, retirement may still feel like it’s a long way off—but actually, this is an ideal season to buckle down and get serious about your planning. For help with any of this, we invite you to contact Stonepath Wealth Management at your convenience.