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Planning for Retirement: Is Midlife Too Late to Start?

Planning for Retirement: Is Midlife Too Late to Start?

| December 08, 2016
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It is never too late to save for retirement! This is true even if you are approaching that final 10-20 years of employment without a definite plan for retirement. Worried about adequate savings and potential retirement income? Instead of getting discouraged, use the time to generate a workable plan for what you will need and the resources you will have.


Define the retirement lifestyle you want. Use the control you have over your current expenses to boost savings. Make smart decisions with the future in mind. Tap into your creative problem solving for innovative sources of retirement income. Commit to some sensible frugality today as an investment in your tomorrow. 

Here are five questions I recommend to jump-start your midlife retirement planning:

1. What’s your retirement plan?

If you don’t have a comprehensive financial plan with real goals for supporting your retirement, now is the right time to do so.  Meet with your financial advisor and review your portfolio – investments, real estate, and income – to determine your assets. Develop a budget that estimates the expenses of your desired retirement lifestyle. If you find a gap, commit to taking the necessary steps to reduce the shortfall.

2. What does your employer offer?

Most workers at midlife are at the peak of their earning potential. Take advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans and make the maximum contributions, including any "catch-up" options available.  You still have time to build up significant retirement savings. Get serious about saving for retirement.

3. Can you cut back on spending?

While you are pumping up your retirement savings, it makes sense to reduce your spending. Think of it as streamlining your cost of living in preparation for your comfortable retirement. Make hard decisions about what you actually need as you review your monthly expense. If you see retirement as an opportunity to downsize, why not get started now. 

4. How much debt are you carrying?

Wouldn’t you love to start your retirement without any debt? No mortgage, car loans, credit card debt. With some discipline, many can pay off most of their debts before retirement.  Housing is usually a household's most costly expense. You will need a lot less in retirement savings if you have paid off your mortgage.

5. What are some creative ways to generate retirement income?

So, you may not be able to make up the entire shortfall in your retirement savings. But consider the many innovative ways that people make additional income today. It is possible to maintain your desired lifestyle with supplemental income from a variety of interesting new part-time jobs and entrepreneurial endeavors. You have the next ten years or so to explore the possibilities.  

Have questions? Contact me and let’s get together to start reviewing your retirement plan together. In the meantime, check out the library of articles and calculators on my website to help you get started.

Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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