10 money secrets for the 50+ set

October 30, 2014 03:00 PM
Is 50 really the new 30?

While it is fun to think of 50 as the new 30--as the youngest of the baby boomers tend to be healthier and more youthful than they viewed the age of 50 when they were younger--it is an age with many financial challenges. You may be looking at high education costs as kids go off to school or finding that those childern you spent a great deal of money on for their education are not quite ready to go off on their own. In addition to those responsibilities you may have worries regarding aging parent care. Or perhpas 50 crept up on you and you are not nearly as prepared for retirement as you would like. 

It is time to get your financial ducks in a row. Here are 10 things to think about. 

10. The cost of long-term care insurance (will be more than you think so be prepared).

Many people assume that they will spend less in retirement, but this is often not the case. Retirees in good health spend more on long-awaited travel plans and tend to have very full social lives. Retirees in poor health tend to spend more on medical care and personal assistance. Either way, start saving now! 


9. You’re not going to stay an empty-nester.

Unless your child is independently wealthy, chances are they will still need your financial help. Don't assume your financial support of grown children ends when you drop them off at college. 


Image Source: teegardin


8. You still might have to pay for your children’s health insurance.

 See #9. Most graduates take several years to get a full-time job in their field that offer benefits. 

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7. Make credit card debt a thing of the past

Debt has been rising among those of retirement age, so it’s time to start paying off your debt now.

According to a recent Metlife survey, nearly one-half (47%) of 50-year olds are involved with the care of an elderly parent. It is very important for baby-boomers to financially protect themselves against parents' long term care expenses. Some states have "filial responsibility" laws whereby adult children can be held legally responsible for parents' uncovered medical expenses. In other cases, adult children may inadvertently sign a third-party payment obligation.

 Image Source: smemon

6. Start thinking about where you want to retire

Where you relocate to will effect how you start saving now. There are a variety of tax implications of where you retire as well as housing and health care costs. If you know where you want to retire, make sure you aligned your finances based on that change. 


Image Source: American Advisors Group 



5. Your life insurance needs may change.

Many people don't realize that long term care insurance premiums are not set in stone. The companies can and do impose rate hikes. An alternative to these traditional annual premium policies is a so-called "hybrid." This is a life insurance contract that you buy with a one time premium. The policy has a rider that covers many long term care costs. Whatever is unused at death goes to your named beneficiaries. The hybrid plans also have a full refundability feature. If you have a cash crunch and need your money back, you can get it. 


Image Source: 401(k) 2012

4. You don’t have to worry about Social Security collapsing

Older Americans have a brighter Social Security future than that of the younger generation. While there are stresses on the system, it is not likely to collapse for the young baby boomers. 

Image Source: 401(k) 2012



3. Retirement doesn’t mean your career is over

When you retire from your current job, your knowledge and experience is still in demand, which will allow you to make some additional money. People are living longer than ever so even though you step away from the grind you will want to get out of the house, keep active and make a little money. 

2. You can contribute more to retirement than you used to

Turning 50 means you're eligible to make a "catch-up contribution" of $5,500 to your 401(k) plan. Our longer life expectancies result in an increasing number of us entering second marriages. It is important to get some good legal advice prior to your second (or third) trip down the aisle. This will ensure that your adult children are not totally disinherited in the event that you predecease your spouse. You also want to take steps to ensure that your savings won't be wiped out in the event that your new spouse has long-term care expenses later.


Image Source: meaganjean



1. It’s never too late to start saving for retirement

Whether you have saved diligently or have cathcing up to do, there is time. And chances are you will want to work longer than the previous generation. Who wants to be retired for 30 years? At 50 you can still take advantage of the compounding interest that’s offered to you.


Image Source: 401(k) 2012

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