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3 Items For An Over 50 Financial Checklist (What Would Be Your #4)

April 19, 2021 by Living Better

Remember when you used to think 50 was old? Rest assured, those in their 20s and 30s still feel that way. However, if you are hovering around that half-century milestone birthday, you are probably quick to realize that 50 is the new age you consider young.

In reality, 50 is not old. The combination of medical science and generally healthier lifestyles make entering that fifth decade close to the halfway point. While the average lifespan is not quite 100, a reference to the second 50 years is an increasingly common phrase for those who embrace the big five-oh with optimism. Ready or not, 60 will be next, so you might as well be prepared. Consider these three points related to finances in your 50s:

1. Retirement Savings

Whether you intend to work indefinitely or want a retirement that does not include the realm of traditional employment, planning is the key. Properly managing your retirement savings helps allow you to make decisions on your terms. Want to keep working into your 70s? Great. Want to leave your job as soon as you can and travel, visit family, fish, read, or just relax? Equally great.

If you have been saving in a 401k, individual retirement account (IRA), or similar account since your 20s, keep going. If you are able, consider increasing your contribution to these accounts. If you are just starting to save in your 50s, it is time to get busy. Talking with a financial advisor, often available through your employer or bank, can help you get serious about retirement savings.

2. A Will & Estate Planning (This Is Not As Fancy As It Sounds)

An estate does not necessarily mean a sprawling mansion situated on acres of rolling hills and all the accouterments that come with such a life. Your estate is what you own, regardless of its volume. Deciding what will happen to your property should be up to you, and proper estate planning makes it so.

A big part of estate planning includes a will. This legal document is where you provide the details of what exactly will happen to the things you own after you pass away. Your will can stipulate a relatively simple distribution, such as leaving everything to your spouse. You can also add more complexity and include percentages of your estate to be divided between children, siblings, friends, or your favorite charities.

Perhaps the most crucial part of a will is naming the guardian of your minor children in the event of your death. In addition to guardianship, your will can make an allowance for funds to care for your children and dictate any inheritance distribution as they become older. Of all the things about your estate that you probably do not want to be left to the cold ruling of a court, the placement of your children is usually the best motivator for completing a will.

3. Insurance Planning & Savings

The number of insurance plans available is vast, and many are worth a little research on your part. However, as you enter your 50s, pay particular attention to health, life, and auto insurance. Going hand in hand with retirement financial planning, it is a good idea to explore what health insurance costs will be once you leave your job. Maybe you plan to work until you are eligible for Medicaid, or perhaps you can remain under your employer’s policy after you retire. Maybe you will be searching for health insurance on the open market. Regardless, get a sense of what to expect in terms of cost and coverage, then, plan accordingly.

Life insurance is another essential part of an overall protection plan for you and your family. You will find no shortage in the types of policies available in this category. Similarly, you will not have to search long to find plenty of representatives trying to sell you one or more life insurance options. You will encounter words such as term, whole, variable, and so forth. The important thing here is to conduct your own research before contacting an insurance agent. Knowing something about the various types of life insurance will help you make an informed decision designed to protect your family.

Another place those in their 50s can likely save is auto insurance. This is especially true if you have a clean driving record. Insurance providers know that drivers in their 50s are less prone to at-fault accidents and traffic tickets. As such, premiums tend to be lower, but you may need to contact your agent to ensure you are getting the best rate for your age. While you are at it, consider raising your deductible to a higher amount; this will lower your premium and save you even more money.

Preparing for life after 50 probably seemed futuristic when you were in your 20s. The promises of flying cars and a colony on the moon have not yet come to fruition. However, the advice you heard about saving and planning for your future was wise, regardless of advances in technology. Whether you heeded that advice or not, the time has likely provided the wisdom to know the future is coming again. This time, you will be ready.

#4. What Would You Add To This Checklist? Comment Below!