If you’re in your 50s and you’re concerned that you haven’t built up the same kind of pension pot as others your age, you’re not alone. With the cost of living rising, more and more people globally are finding themselves unprepared for the day they retire – and it can cause significant anxiety. You might think it's simply too late by the time you're in your 50s to build up enough of a nest egg to retire comfortably. You might be pleasantly surprised, then, to learn that this is not necessarily the case; you can boost your pension pot at any age, you just might need to invest more significantly than someone in their 20s or 30s.
So, how to build up a nest egg if you’re starting in your 50s? You’ll need to be aware that it will take time, patience and hard work to catch up to those who started earlier. You might need to rethink your lifestyle and make sacrifices where you can. This doesn’t mean you need to start liking like a pauper, but you should think hard about which expenses in your life are truly necessary. You’ll also need to develop some investment strategies that could provide you with consistent, high returns – diversity in your investment portfolio is a must.
Assess Your Current Pension Pot
A good first step is to take a hard look at your current pension pot. Be realistic and include all of the provisions you’ve made so far for when you reach retirement age; this might not be much, but even the smallest start can be beneficial. Get everything you have relating to your pension together in one place, and work out what it'll mean for when you retire. Try not to get too downhearted if you find that your current pension pot is nowhere near what you want it to be; you can and will be able to make a change. It might feel scary at times, but you should focus on the here and now and what you can—and will—change.
Consider A Reverse Mortgage
A reverse mortgage is something that could be offered to those who have paid off or mostly paid off their mortgages. It allows homeowners to access the equity in their homes in the form of a cash payout. When your home is eventually sold, the money the bank has allowed you to borrow will be taken from the sale price. This can be an excellent option for anyone who is very close to retirement age without much savings or plans in place. However, the benefits must be weighed against the impact on your estate for the beneficiaries of your will. Many people want to leave their properties to their children, grandchildren or other important people in their lives, and this will significantly impact the amount they would inherit. You must weigh this against the benefit to you of living comfortably in retirement age.
Downsize Your Home
If you’re a single person or couple living in a larger family home, this might be the right time to downsize and put the proceeds aside for your retirement. Once your kids have flown the nest, a great way to gather more money for your pension is to downsize. You could consider a smaller house, apartment, condo or bungalow. This can also be an excellent time to think about what your future needs might look like; many people experience reduced mobility as they get older, so moving to a more easily manageable property could be an excellent option.
Try Your Hand At Stock Trading
Stock trading can be a brilliant way to build up your wealth, but it can take some skill to do it well. To trade on the stock market, you’ll need to understand the right time to buy and sell stocks in publicly owned companies – you might not always get it right at first, so it is vital to take the time to practice and learn. Starting with short-term trading can be a good option, which is when you buy stocks and sell them quickly to take advantage of the quick fluctuations in market value. Long-term trading can often have a bigger payout, but it can be tough to know where is the safest investment for your money. Economic calendar can help you to learn more about predicting the changes to stock value based on things like currency values, interest rates and global events.
Connect With A Financial Advisor
A financial advisor can be a huge help to anyone who is worried about how they will manage in their retirement years. They will be able to work with you to help you make a plan and choose the right ways to increase your pension pot. Make sure to use a highly qualified financial advisor with experience working with people who are saving for retirement later in life – this will ensure they have the relevant knowledge to help you best and plenty of ideas on how to improve your retirement outlook.
Reduce Your Debt
Debt is one of the biggest obstacles to savings, making it significantly harder to put money aside each month towards your retirement plan. Your highest-interest debt should be paid down first; these are the debts that are eating up the most of your hard-earned cash. If you have a lot of debt at a high-interest rate, don't worry – there are ways to manage even the toughest of debts. Consolidating debt can help you pay off debt faster and with lower interest rates—a low-interest loan or credit card could help. If you have a decent credit rating, you may also be able to take out a credit card with a zero-interest period, during which you can pay off your debt without paying unnecessary interest.
Consider Working Beyond Retirement Age
This is not an option that many people would relish unless they’re one of the lucky ones who truly adores their jobs – even then, the thought of working into your late 60s and 70s can feel daunting. As we get older, it can get tough to keep up with our younger colleagues, and it is understandable to want to slow down a little. However, if you are rapidly nearing pension age and are not in a position to retire, working beyond the retirement age may be a necessity. You may not have to continue working full time, instead dropping down on your hours. You could also look for a lower-pressure job so that you can enjoy more free time and fewer stresses relating to work. You might even find that working beyond retirement suits you; many people struggle going from a full-time, rewarding career to having masses of free time.
If you’re later in life and only just thinking of building a nest egg, it is important not to panic. You may need to work a little harder to get into a comfortable position for retirement, but it is an achievable goal. You should make the most of all the resources available to help you gain control over your finances and learn about how to invest your money to maximize your returns. Seeking advice from a financial advisor can also be a smart move, as they can help you make a plan of short- and long-term goals to work towards. It is also never too late to enter into the investment market and try your hand at things like trading stock or property investment that can provide significant returns.