Tweak your financial plan in your 50s

- Saving for your future is for every age. But as you get closer to retirement, strategies change.

I talk to a money manager who says you need a plan in your 50s because it's different than the one you needed in your 20s.

Fifty is that much closer to retirement. But it's also that much closer to living off of what you've saved. Talking about retirement seems like such a far away notion, then suddenly it isn't.

Let Lisa Brown, a certified financial planner, wake you up.

"If you don't save enough for your retirement, it may come down to your children to help you fund your future, take care of you."

OK, none of us wants that, right? Of course not, so let Lisa Brown, a partner at Brightworth, a wealth management group, walks us through what you need to do in your 50s to get retirement ready.

"The focus becomes less, 'How do I pay my bills month to month, feed my family and put my children through college', but rather, 'How do I use this money for my future, my retirement?'

Save more. And this is why. Let's say you're 50 years old and save $10,000 a year.  By the time you're 60, with interest, you will have saved $132,068. Bump that savings up to $25,000 a year over the same period and look at this - $330,170 is saved. Big difference. These are admittedly big savings figures, but it helps illustrate the point. Scale it back to fit your budget.

Here's a saving check list for all of us, but for you 50-somethings it's a must.

"Every time you're getting a raise make sure you're not putting that money into your checkbook. Increase your 401k contribution by the amount of that raise," Ms. Brown says.


Now put budget on the 'to do' list.

"When you put pen to paper and make a budget you realize there are a couple of categories where you can trim back," she tells us.

Budget. CHECK!

Now, don't deprive yourself of experiences just pare them back a bit.

"Eating out less, a couple of times a month. Or, instead of that seven-day vacation, do a five-day vacation."

Cutting back. CHECK!

Now, a few more things to know about 50s and finance Get long-term care insurance. This off-sets the cost of hiring someone to take care of you later in life, whether it's home aid, or 24-hour nursing care.

Lisa Brown explains just how pricey getting old can be.

"If you're going to need someone to come to your house for five-six hours a day, every day for a year, it's going to run you $40,000."

Double that for nursing home care. And a will. If you've put it off, you're not alone.

"Nine times out of 10 someone puts their head down and shakes it in shame and says either they don't have a will or we have a will but it's 20 years old."

Are you 50-something and haven't started aggressively saving for retirement yet? Don't be embarrassed. Just do it.

This career financial planner reminds us, "You're better to get good advice, to right the ship, and get on a good path and understand what a reasonable future looks like for you rather than sticking your heading the sand and hoping it all works out."

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