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Planning & Economy

Retirement Preparation

September 11th, 2023

Investors in their 50s

You’ve worked hard to put the kids through college and wondered if you would ever start to clearly see your retirement horizon. You’ve probably starting to visualize your retirement: The trips, the hikes, the projects, the family vacations and just sitting around a bit enjoying a pretty day. It is also a good time to take stock of where you are relative to your goals. I recommend focusing on the below list of items in your 50s to ensure your retirement outcome is successful.

1. Do an in-depth holistic financial plan if you have not done one already.

Saving for retirement probably started back in your 20s and 30s but do you know if your savings plan will get you to where you need to be in retirement?  Are you investing in the right investments at the right time to meet your goals?  A holistic plan can answer these questions but can also point out opportunities for you and your family.  Working with a financial planner to put your goals at the highest probability of success will not only help you achieve successful outcomes but will also allow you to potentially see financial opportunities.

2. Plan for debt to be paid off by retirement.

In every stage of life newsletter, I talk about reevaluating debt and paying it off, but in your 50s I’m focusing on your mortgage.  Some investors retire with a mortgage and it’s no problem, but I would recommend working hard to pay off your mortgage prior to retirement so it’s one less fixed payment you must make when you are no longer earning an employment income.  An important caveat to this recommendation is savings.  If paying off your mortgage prior to retirement significantly impacts your ability to save for retirement, remember savings trumps debt payoff.  Compounding growth returns are so important in retirement savings.

3. Max out retirement plan savings including catch-up contributions.

At age 50 investors can make catch-up contributions to employer retirement plans and IRA contributions.  The 2023 contribution and catch-up contribution limits are below:

At this point prior to retirement, it’s important to save in retirement as much as possible.  Typically, retirees are in retirement for an estimated of 25-30 years.

4. Login to social security’s website and obtain your social security record.

Starting to track your social security is important for a couple of reasons.  First, be sure that every year you worked is listed on your statement.  There could be errors on your work history that you will want to fix now versus when it’s time to file for social security.  I’ve spoken to many people that have had to correct these errors with the social security office.  Second, if you are doing your financial plan, your financial planner will want an accurate social security figure to include in your financial plan.  Windsor Wealth has a partnership with a retired social security administrator to help our clients with all of their social security and Medicare questions.

5. Consider long-term care insurance.

Long-term care insurance is insurance to cover a long-term care health need as you age.  Long-term care insurance goes into effect once the insured is no longer able to do two of six daily living activities.  The six daily living activities are bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (getting out of bed or a chair without help), eating and continence.  Or, if there is a cognitive issue.  You may be thinking, why would someone in their 50s need to start worrying out this?  Long-term care insurance isn’t cheap and if you wait too long premiums climb significantly past the age of 55-60.  Also, when thinking about this type of insurance, what is your family history?  Have you had family members need nursing care or home health care for a period later in life?  It’s an expensive insurance, but long-term care is more expensive.  Right now, assisted living care in Gainesville, Georgia is between $7,000-$10,000 a month.  What would that type of expense do to your financial plan long-term versus paying that annually for the insurance?

Retirement is right around the corner for some of you and being sure you’re on the right track and making the best decisions for you and your family will be important during this stage of life.  We help clients daily fulfill their retirement dreams and have two CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals with Windsor Wealth to help with these specific goals and other goals that are important to you.  If we can do anything to help you or a family member, we stand ready to assist.


Christina Jones
Wealth Manager, RJFS
Partner, Windsor Wealth



401k plans are long-term retirement savings vehicles. Withdrawals of pre-tax contributions and/or earnings will be subject to ordinary income tax and, if taken prior to age 59 1/2 , may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty.
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