Financial planning is important at every stage of life, but your 40s and 50s are when you should start reassessing your financial goals, considering your risk tolerance, and ensuring your investment portfolio is in line with your objectives. During this time, you’ll likely have a lot of financial commitments, such as paying for your children’s higher education and marriage, as well as a lot of goals you still want to accomplish. However, it is also the time to safeguard your financial future and take advantage of opportunities to make up for any lost saving/ investing opportunities. Let’s look at how you may make a financial plan to make the most of the money you’ve worked so hard to save/ invest, and not jeopardize your plans for retirement.
Financial planning in your 40s
You likely spent your 20s and 30s laying the groundwork to reach key financial goals including establishing an emergency fund, managing your credit score, and starting to build your retirement savings. And for most people, the 40s mark a turning point. You are at the peak of your earning potential and halfway between starting your career and reaching retirement age. And you may become more conservative in your approach to taking on investment risks. Hence, your financial plan needs to reflect the change in your risk appetite.
Make sure your goals still match your priorities: Revisit your goals and categorize them into short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. Then recalibrate your investment portfolio to meet your financial goals.
A debt-free plan: It’s common to have home loans, car loans, credit card debt, and other debts by age 40. At this point, you should have a solid financial plan that prioritizes debt reduction or elimination. You might be able to devote more money toward paying down debt and concentrating on wealth creation by creating a budget and changing your spending patterns.
Growing your wealth: When looking to invest, it’s important to consider your level of risk tolerance, followed by your investment period and purpose of investment. Having diversified exposure to a variety of products can help you achieve excellent returns. If you have a long investing horizon and the patience to ride out the ups and downs of markets, investing in equities may be rewarded with high returns. Investors with a shorter investment timeframe should move their investments to fixed-income investments which offer steady returns.
Financial planning in your 50s
Once you cross the 50s, your retirement is no longer a far summit. Begin by assessing whether you have been a super-saver your entire career or you will be retiring without much savings.
Re-examine your goals: Life happens. Things change and so do our needs. It is a decade of significant transition as your children are older and more independent and may have moved out. Your expenses and priorities are changing, and this is the perfect time to evaluate your current life goals and to organize your financial planning for life after retirement.
Divesting high-risk investments and reinvesting in safer options: Evaluate your risk appetite while keeping in mind your current assets and future goals in mind. If you want to enjoy stable growth in your 50s, stick to low-risk investments. You may consider shifting to fixed-income investments that offer additional income. Retirement plans that give you immediate or deferred annuity income.
Create additional income streams: One way to ensure you’ll have enough to live on in the future is by creating additional income streams today. You can build passive income streams like owning a rental property or investing in dividends, which require little to no participation from you.
Health Insurance policy: Since you are planning for your older years, it’s time to put your health first. Check if you have a health insurance policy with full life coverage. With rising medical cost, and hospitalization which are most likely to drain your savings, 50s are the right time to boost your health insurance policy with top-up plans.
Get an estate plan in place: Think about the legacy you want to create today that your loved ones can enjoy in the future. So, it is important to have a succession plan and a will, but you may also want documents like a medical and financial power of attorney or even a living trust.
As you can see building wealth is a journey, not a destination, and your financial plan needs to change as you age. Regardless of your current situation, creating and sticking to your financial plan during each stage in life will lead to a brighter financial future.