In a perfect world, everyone would start preparing for retirement when they get their first paycheck. But as Barry Bulakites suggests, that may not be possible for most people. Many things happen in between, and saving becomes a challenge. If you have found yourself in such a situation, here are some ideas on how you can prepare for retirement after 50.
Try to Reduce Debt
When you are 50, you are 10 to 15 years away from retirement. During this period, it will be wise to try and decrease your debt by reducing your reliance on credit. This is the time to take care of any liabilities such as mortgage debt. If you have too many debts, consider debt consolidation, as this will give you some room to breathe. Having no debts means you will have a carefree retirement.
Watch Your Spending
If you want to assess your financial health, you need to understand where your cash goes. Track your daily expenses as they will give you an idea of your spending habits. This also gives you a clear picture of how much income you need to maintain your current lifestyle. From there, you can tell if you need to adjust your spending habits or if you are on the right path to retirement.
Boost Your Retirement Savings
If saving up for retirement was not a priority earlier, Barry Bulakites advises that it is not too late to start. You can decide to make extra contributions to your retirement accounts, also referred to as catch-up contributions. Currently, young people are only allowed to contribute up to $6000 to an IRA and $19,500 to a 401(k). Anyone from the age of 50 can make a contribution of up to $7000 to their IRA, and $26,000 to their 401(k).
Open a Health Savings Account
It is good to prepare for unexpected medical expenses. Aging comes with a few medical conditions, and a huge medical bill can easily deplete all the money you have saved. Retirement planning also needs to consider future medical bills. Creating a health savings account reduces your taxable income. Plus, once you turn 65, you can start making withdrawals with zero penalties.
Live Like You Are Already Retired
When planning for retirement, you will likely try to come up with a sensible budget for that time. As Barry Bulakites recommends, the only way to ensure you can stick to that budget is by trying it out first. If you find it difficult to live within your retirement budget, yet you are working, then it will probably be more challenging when you retire and have more time to spend. So, try to make a few adjustments from the start. Consider taking fewer vacations in a year or downsizing. This is called retirement training, and it will ensure you have enough money for later days.
Planning for retirement can be challenging. However, you do not have to do it alone. Barry Bulakites advises adults to work with financial advisors to help them prepare for the future. This will ensure your retirement years are less stressful regarding money matters.