Retirement Planning in Your 50s

What to consider when planning for retirement in your 50s.



"I’m in my 50s - is it too late to start thinking about retirement?"

Entering your 50s and inching closer to retirement, it’s natural to wonder if your finances are where they should be at this stage of your life. At 50, many adults have a growing sense of self, an established career, and increasingly independent children, which presents many opportunities for growing your savings. 

However, many in their 50s still feel behind the curve and wonder if their money will last them and provide them with the lifestyle they want in retirement.

Whether you have an investment portfolio that’s managed by a professional or you’re still hesitating on hiring a financial advisor, it’s never too late to start thinking about establishing a long-term plan to satisfy your retirement goals.



At Toberman Becker, we recognize the importance of planning for retirement, and the urgency if you haven’t started yet. If you’re thinking of setting a plan, or already have one in place, it’s never a bad idea to revisit the topic.

The Top 5 Actions to Consider When Planning Retirement in Your 50s

1. Monitor spending and adjust your budget

Taking into account your income, expenses, spending limits, and saving goals are vital parts of developing a long-term financial plan. Once your fixed expenses are accounted for, you’ll need to look at where else you’re spending before you can evaluate what’s left over. For example, tracking your incoming and outgoing expenses with a budget worksheet, can provide a detailed description of what’s coming in, what’s going out – good or bad.

Next, you’ll need to establish your future financial goals and adjust your budget to live within those means. Paying close attention to these details now will help you determine the type of lifestyle you’ll want to have later and adjust to living within those means.

woman at computer working on a personal budget
notepad that has pay debt written on it in red pen

2. Reduce your debt

Debt is easy to accumulate, difficult to pay off, and those pesky interest rates create expensive roadblocks to your future.

At this stage, your primary goal should be prioritizing your debt based off of the highest interest rate and eliminating those first. This provides an opportunity to redirect your funds to your other financial goals faster. Typically this starts with credit cards, then car debt, and lastly your mortgage. Paying these off early will allow you to work towards manageable investments with long-term benefits.

3. Boost your savings

In the early stages, it’s important to remember that a minimum goal is better than no goal at all. Ideally by age 50 you have set up a 401(k) plan and have been contributing the maximum amount.

A general rule is that by age 50, you should have at least five times your yearly salary saved. If you make $80,000 per year, you should have $400,000 across all of your retirement accounts and bank accounts.

If you’re 50 and older you can make catch-up contributions to your 401(k). In 2023 the 401(k) contribution limit is $22,500 for those under 50, but it’s $30,000 if you’re over 50. Max out these limits or get as close as possible, especially if you’re behind on retirement savings.

ceramic piggy bank with its snout in a pile of coins
a conference table surrounded by office chairs in a room with big windows

4. Discover advantages in your career

Anyone who has had a job knows that the phrase “Enjoy what you do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” has some weight to it.

As you near retirement, the benefits of having an established career are priceless. The years you’ve accumulated have come with raises that are advancing your savings. The longer you are there, the more you are able to capitalize on the various benefits your company offers. Social security benefits also increase as time passes, while established earnings you have added on can help balance the inconsistencies of your past.

Some retirees enjoy their career so much that they cut back hours, but continue to work into their retirement years. Having a job you love really does make a difference!

5. Consolidate & diversify your investments

If your assets are spread among a variety of financial institutions, consolidate them into one account with the low management fees. Having all of your investments in one place is important when developing an income strategy for retirement.

Then take a conservative approach with medium risk if you are just starting now. This will ensure that your money’s working for you but will be there for you when you need it.

Once your assets are combined into one comprehensive portfolio, it’s time to start diversifying those investments. There are a number of benefits to doing this. For example you can obtain more returns for the same amount of risk, reduce volatility and fluctuations, and minimize portfolio drawdowns to name a few. It’s not meant to maximize returns, but minimize risk in an unpredictable market.

In this stage of the process, it’s good to work with one trusted independent fee-only retirement advisor who can provide reassurance. They will also help you see the big picture and help you establish your financial goals.

pie chart demonstrating diversification

Whether you’re just starting out or have been investing for years, it’s never too late to start chipping away at your future goals. Book a call below with St. Louis fee-only financial advisor Craig Toberman to see how these five steps can lead to a new perspective and a confident future.


“Successful investing during retirement means targeting a smooth ride, and minimizing your chances of ever having to worry about money.”


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