When you first started out in your career, you may have focused on paying off student loans, buying a home, and hopefully, starting to save for retirement. Generally speaking, these are pretty straightforward goals. But by the time you enter your 50s and 60s, your financial objectives may be somewhat more complex. So, you will need to take great care in creating and implementing the right strategies.
During your 20s, 30s and 40s, you may have put away as much as you could afford in your 401(k) and IRA, but your more immediate concerns were paying someone else: Your student loan provider, your mortgage company or your children's college. But once you reach your 50s, you may have finished with these types of obligations. That gives you an opportunity to look ahead.
For starters, you'll want to envision the type of retirement lifestyle you want. Will you still live in Rim Country? Will you travel much? Volunteer? Open a small business? The possibilities are vast and so are the differences in cost.
Once you know about how much money you will need to fund your retirement, your next step is to look at your potential retirement assets: Social Security payments, distributions from your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan, and income from your personal investments, such as bond interest and stock dividends.
Factoring in all these resources, will you have enough to enjoy a retirement that could last two or three decades? If not, what can you do about it during the years before you retire? Should you adjust your portfolio to provide more growth? Can you put in still more to your 401(k) and IRA? If you have "maxed out" on these vehicles, should you look for another tax-advantaged retirement vehicle, such as an annuity?
Clearly, these are not simple questions to answer, but the sooner you start, the less you will have to worry about in retirement.
-- Scott Flake is a licensed investment representative with Edward Jones. For more information, call (928) 468-1470.