It’s not uncommon to start to contemplate retirement until you reach midlife. The age of 50 is about the time we consider how the second half of our lives will look, and for most of us, we imagine it resembles fun without a care in the world. The problem is most of us don’t think about how we are going to pay for the fun without a care in the world.

Ask yourself these questions; do you know when you can retire?  Or, how you are going to get to the point of retirement? And do you know what you need to be able to retire? Retirement can mean different things to different people, but to retire with money in the bank requires planning.

The Age of Retirement

Retirement is basically when a person stops working and can live out the rest of their days in bliss. Whether they want to travel, garden, or read retirement is as individual as individuals. Most people think of retirement age as being around 65. The truth is, the actual age of retirement varies as much as how each person wants to spend their retirement years.

Think about how you want to retire before you think about how much you need to have tucked away to retire. If you want to travel, you will need more than if you want to putter in the garden or take care of your grandchildren.

With proper planning, you can set an age to retire and have the resources you need to live out the rest of your days without worrying much. Retirement isn’t a one size fits all, and with our tips and the right retirement planner, your goals, needs, and comfort can be met.

How to Plan for Retirement in Midlife

Roughly 6 out of 10 people have never figured out what they need to retire. We hope you aren’t among those, but if you are, consider trying out one of the many retirement calculators online. These calculators are very handy to quickly show you exactly what you need to live the life of leisure you want in your leisure years.

Once you know how much you need, it’s time to come up with a plan to get there. Visiting a professional is always a great idea. A professional can look at what you have and show you how to maximize your savings, 401K, and what to save and where to save it.  These savings not only will help you achieve a comfortable retirement, but they will also give you a tax break while you are contributing to them. Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to spend more in retirement than when you were working, so knowing how much is enough is crucial.

If you are just starting to save for retirement, you might need to consider investments that have a higher return, such as the stock market, instead of just keeping your money in safe places, like the IRA’s and the 401K’s. Growing your portfolio can help you reach your goals quicker, just be sure you trust your investment advisor to do the best job for you. Another consideration is to put away 10% of your gross income especially if you are just starting to save.

Something to consider is what age you can quit the workforce. For instance, if you are 50 and are just starting your retirement savings, you probably won’t be able to retire at 65. One thing you might consider is setting a target age when you can move to part-time work and slow down to reach an age where you can live comfortably on what you have put away without working. Another consideration is that working keeps you young, social, and your mind active.

If you have any lingering debt, try to get that paid off before you retire. The debt can very quickly eat away at your retirement dollars. You want to have as few fixed expenses as possible when you stop working, and the best way to do that is to have as little debt as possible.

Is Enough Ever Enough?

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so even if you think you have enough or have been told you have enough considered an extra 10%. This can cover those unexpected expenses that might come up. It could be an illness or something for your children. Either way, it’s important to have an emergency fund stashed away before you retire.

If retirement isn’t something that you have spent much time thinking about, we hope this has given you the incentive to start to save and plan for that future. After all, what could be better than enjoying yourself in your glory years without having to worry about how you are going to pay for it!

Additional Reading:

What does retirement mean to you?

Retirement Catch-Up: How To Start In Your 50s

AARP Retirement Calculator: Are You Saving Enough?

4 Retirement Savings Hacks for People in Their 50s