Don’t Read If You’re Under 50!

Turning 50 is a huge milestone and an exciting time.  Age 50 is considered the gateway to the golden years with much to look forward to especially with a projected life expectancy of 31 years.  The pressure to look and act cool also wanes as you grow older.  If you want to wear sweaters with shorts or sandals with socks, go for it.   If you want to eat dinner at 4:00 and be in bed by 8:00, knock yourself out.  If you want to wear a big floppy hat, wraparound sunglasses, long sleeve shirts and cover yourself in zinc oxide before heading off to the beach, who’s going to stop you?

Age 50 is also the year when most individuals get serious about retirement planning.  A person who is 49 years, 11 months, and 29 days old has little interest in retirement planning.  When they turn 50 they freak out because retirement is now on the horizon.  Age 65 is still the preferred retirement age for many workers so turning 50 means there are only 15 years until they ride off into the sunset.  Fifteen years isn’t a long time and this is what makes individuals nervous.

By age 50 you should have 5 times your annual salary saved according to a report by CNBC.[1]  If your annual income is $100,000 you should have $500,000 in savings.  Congratulations to you if you’ve achieved this savings milestone.  If your current asset level falls short, have no fear because you still have time to salvage a comfortable retirement.

Once you turn 50 you can contribute more money to your retirement accounts.  The government allows you to invest an extra $1,000 to your IRA and $6,000 to your 401(k).  The additional savings will help you make up for lost time.

As you march through the golden years, here are a few things to consider.

  • Health is wealth. It pays to take care of yourself.   As you age, time and gravity are working against you so focus on eating well and working out.   Eating fruits, vegetables and anything that swims or flies will be good for the ticker.   Hit the gym and put a few miles on the road to get some quality exercise.  According to the American Academy of Family Physicians exercise prevents chronic disease and improves your mood.[2]
  • Help others. A benefit of aging is you’re able to help others spiritually, emotionally and financially.  It’s time to put your wisdom and resources to work.
  • Give. A philanthropic plan will pay dividends for you and others. A thoughtful giving plan will help others for many years while giving you income and estate tax benefits.
  • Pursue your dreams. Do you want to start a business?  Explore distant lands?  Try a new hobby?  The golden years are a perfect time for you to start checking off items on your bucket list.
  • Own stocks. Stocks will allow to grow your wealth and generate more income.  Stocks will also help you offset the force of inflation.   You need to own assets that will grow over time so your purchasing power grows or stays constant.  A 3% inflation rate will lower your purchasing power by 59%.  A dollar today will be worth 41 cents in 30 years.

Aging is a benefit not afforded to many so enjoy the ride.  Attack your golden years with spunk and gusto.  Live your life to the fullest so you have no regrets when Gabriel blows his horn.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?  ~ Satchel Paige.

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management.  For more information on financial planning and investment management, please visit www.parrottwealth.com.

May 21, 2017

[1] http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/22/heres-how-much-money-you-should-have-saved-at-every-age.html, Kathleen Elkins, 2/22/2017.

[2] https://www.agingcare.com/articles/exercise-benefits-for-the-elderly-95383.htm, Marlo Sollitto, website accessed May 20, 2017.

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