Wondering how to start building wealth after 50? We have 14 rules and tips to help you to start increasing your net worth. Read on!
Building wealth is the lifelong dream of many, but more often than not considered a utopia, or a privilege reserved for a few. It is not. Anyone can build wealth and create a life of abundance, and while it’s true that the sooner you start the better, as the saying goes: the second best time is now.
And it’s not too late to start saving money, even if you’re in your 50s. You still have plenty of time to plan for retirement, and set your financial life in order to increase your wealth, get rid of debt, and enjoy a more prosperous life.
The following rules and tips for building wealth after 50 should help you get started, but as with everything in life, remember that consistency is key. It’s not enough to design a beautifully-looking financial plan if you don’t follow it!
So, how to build wealth in your 50s? Read on!
Create a Financial Plan
The first step to building wealth is having a roadmap to guide you to it, and this comes in the form of a financial plan.
If you already have a monthly budget, you’re off to a great start. Make sure it’s updated, and keep it handy because you’ll be making adjustments as you change some of your priorities and establish new financial goals.
Then, it’s time to set up your long-term financial goals. Why do you want to build wealth in the first place? Maybe it’s just for the sake of it, and that’s totally fine: your goal could then be to have a certain amount of money saved or invested by the time you’re 60.
Maybe you want to go on a round-the-world trip when you retire, cancel your children’s student debt, or simply live comfortably and maintain your lifestyle after you stop working. Be clear on your goals, so you can create the roadmap (financial plan!) that will help you achieve them.
Downsize your Housing
One of the rules for building wealth after 50 is downsizing. Housing is one of the most expensive categories in the budget, and you could save a lot of money by moving to a smaller or cheaper place.
By now your children probably left home already to live on their own or go to college; if you have empty rooms and the house feels too big for the people living in it, it’s a good sign to find a new home.
Downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean going smaller, though, if that’s not ideal in your situation. But you could find a house in the suburbs or in a nearby town where property taxes and bills are more affordable, and so is the cost of living.
This will not only get you an immediate influx of money if you sell, but also contribute to your wealth’s growth in the long run, as you’ll be saving in your monthly expenses.
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. Downsizing was meant to reduce your expenses, but you should continue to do so in every area of your life.
If you don’t have a budget, it’s time to start one and track your expenses for a couple of months to know how much you spend on each category, and be able to work from there.
If you already do, find in which categories you’re spending more than you should, or where you could make some cuts. Maybe you dine out 3 times a week – that should be cut down to 1 a week, or only on special occasions. Perhaps you spend a lot of money on gas, and it’d be cheaper (and healthier!) to walk or cycle to work.
Take a look at your subscriptions as well: you most certainly don’t need one for every streaming service available, and you may even have subscriptions to magazines, e-book websites, or shopping sites you don’t even use.
Analyze your expenses and find all the categories in which you could make adjustments to reduce your spending. Once you do, put that plan into action. The money you’ll be saving will then be allocated to your desired savings fund – emergency, vacation, or retirement. You name it.
Increase your Income
Besides reducing your expenses, if you’re serious about building wealth at 50, you should also aim to increase your income. You can only reduce so much of your spending habits, but you can create a new income flow that will help grow your savings accounts and investments, allowing you to reach your financial goals. This is the best way to increase wealth, regardless of your age.
You could ask for a raise at your current job, get a side gig, do a garage sale, or start offering your knowledge and services as a freelancer. A continuous flow of money should be your ultimate goal, though, so even if you do sell some old records and furniture, try to find a way to permanently increase your income.
This will give you more freedom to invest properly and contribute to your retirement account substantially, without sacrificing much of your lifestyle and needs.
If you’re starting over at 50 with no money, increasing your income is crucially important!
Get Out of Debt (and stay out of it!)
How to build wealth after 50 if you’re covered in debt? Is it even possible?
It is possible, yes. But debt is the number one enemy of building wealth. If you don’t have any (good for you!) keep away from it at all costs.
If you do, getting out of debt should be your number one financial priority, so you need to start working on it ASAP. The first step is devising a plan to pay off debt, and allocate part of your new income (or the money you’re saving by cutting expenses) to it.
You may also need to make some extra cuts or arrangements in your budget – remember to look at the bigger picture (your financial freedom, no less) and know that this is temporary. Once you cancel all your debt, you’ll be free to reallocate that money.
You may choose to pay off your debts in installments, or decide to save up the money to pay it in its entirety; whichever the way, it has to be a realistic plan.
Once you’re clean (hurray!) or if you didn’t have any overdue payments to begin with, you’ll want to stay clear of them. Budgeting will help you avoid overspending, but you should also be careful when using credit cards – remember, it’s not your money you’re spending – pay your bills on time, and build an emergency fund to keep away from loans.
Save for Retirement
Saving for retirement might be your number one goal when you aim at building wealth in your 50s. After all, it’s not that far ahead in the future. While retirement is a crucial investment that should be made by people of all ages, it’s even more important when you’re in your 50s.
Ideally, you would like to maintain your lifestyle (or improve it, why not?) when you retire, so you’ll need to match your retirement income to the one you currently have.
So, how to build wealth for retirement? Your best ally will be your retirement account. If you already have a 401(k) or IRA account, make sure you’re contributing to it constantly, and that your employer is as well.
If you can afford it, look into making catch-up contributions (only workers over 50 can, so take advantage!)
It’s also important to find out how much money you have saved for retirement already, and calculate how much you’ll need to live with when you retire, so you can create a plan to achieve that goal.
If you don’t have a retirement account, open one immediately! Open a Roth IRA account and make sure to take advantage of your employer-sponsored retirement plan.
And Never Ever Borrow From your 401(k)
Taking out money from 401(k) accounts before retirement has penalty fees, a measure taken to keep you from doing so. But it’s still technically possible, so it might be tempting to withdraw money from it in times of need. Don’t. Ever.
Borrowing money from your 401(k) is one of the biggest financial mistakes you can make. That money is not yours just yet, so the amount you take you’ll have to pay back, with interest. You’re basically taking a loan, and if it’s one you’re not prepared to pay in full in the short term, it will become the beginning of debt.
Your retirement account should be exactly that: money you save for your life post-retirement. It’s in your best interest to have a fat amount sitting in your account for when you’re ready to enjoy it. So leave it there, and look for other ways to have handy money in times of need. Need ideas? Move on to the next point.
Keep (or Build) an Emergency Fund
One of the most important ways to build wealth after 50 is starting an emergency fund. Ideally, everyone should do it in their youth and keep it for the rest of their lives. If you’ve taken steps already to maintain your financial health, you probably already have one. If not, then you should include it in your plan.
An emergency fund is a stash of money you build over time, and which should not be spent for anything other than an emergency. An unexpected car breakdown, an urgent visit to the dentist, a surgery that’s not covered by your insurance.
Life or death situations that would normally have you at the bank, taking loans with outrageous interest rates, should be covered with your own fund so you don’t indebt yourself no matter the situation.
Add the emergency fund to your budget, and make monthly contributions to it. It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford much to start with. Whatever you can spare for it is better than nothing, and as your income increases so will your fund contributions.
Live Within your Means
It’s not enough to lower your expenses and get rid of debt. Even when you increase your income, you’ll still need to maintain your cost of living way below your means in order to save money for your future.
Living within your means simply means spending less money than you make. You certainly don’t need to make sacrifices or stop treating yourself at all, but there always has to be some extra money at the end of each month for you to invest.
You’ll adjust your budget based on how much money you make, but try not to raise that number when you increase your income with side hustles or a promotion. The more you can actually save and put toward your financial goals, the easier and faster it will be to build wealth.
Manage Investments Wisely
Investing and looking at which are the best stocks for building wealth after 50 is one of the primary strategies people think of when it comes to increasing your net worth. At 50, though, you won’t be investing in the long term nor will you be able to ride the lows and highs of the market as you may have done 30 years ago.
If you’re planning on investing in the market, you’ll have to do so wisely, and only with money you can afford to lose.
Don’t allocate all of your investment money in stocks. Diversify your portfolio as much as possible, and choose safer assets like bonds and bonuses to invest in.
Getting help from a financial advisor is also a smart choice if you’re starting to invest at 50, with no previous experience or knowledge of the market. It will be an investment in itself, as you’ll have to pay someone to assist you, but if they help you make the right choices it will pay off in the long run.
Real Estate is a great investment option you should look into as well. But make sure to manage your investments wisely, and be sure you’re making the right decision before taking each step.
It’s never (ever!) too late to start learning something new. And this is especially true if you’re trying to build wealth and improve your financial situation. One of the most important ways to do so is to educate yourself.
Whether is listening to podcasts about finances and investments, reading blogs, or buying books, make sure you devote time to learning more about the financial world, and how to achieve your goals.
This doesn’t only apply to finances, though. Gaining a new skill might be the key to increasing your income, either through a promotion or a side hustle you start with your new knowledge.
It’s said that reading is the one habit that most millionaires share; it can’t hurt to give it a try and start enriching your knowledge. There are always new things to be learned – nobody knows it all by a very long shot!
Get Good Quality Sleep
You might be thinking what does sleep have to do with building wealth? Quite a lot, actually. For starters, when you’re well rested your mind will be clearer, and you’ll be able to make better decisions than when you’re burnt out or running on caffeine alone.
Good quality sleep is vital for your health as well, which you’ll want to take good care of, especially at this stage in your life. You’ll need to be in optimal condition to make the changes needed in your life and work toward increasing your wealth.
You’ll also be way more efficient, accomplishing tasks in less time, and achieving better results that will improve your chances of succeeding in your new project, or getting that pay rise you’re after.
Revise your Health Insurance
Let’s face the music: you’re not getting any younger. And while you might be in perfect health condition, you want to make sure that your health insurance is ready to cover any medical emergencies you may encounter when you’re older.
Health costs aren’t cheap by any means, and inflation will keep making them more expensive, which means you need to think ahead and plan for any medical expenses to be covered by your insurance, so you don’t use your retirement or emergency fund money for the bills.
You might be thinking – but isn’t the emergency fund supposed to be for this? You’re right, the goal of an emergency fund is indeed to cover unexpected bills, including medical ones. But unfortunately, people of advanced age tend to have periodic trips to the doctor, health complications, and last-minute interventions much more frequently than a person in their 50s.
If you already have a difficult medical history or there are hereditary illnesses in your family, the more reason to start planning now for your medical bills. And the best way to do so is to revise and upgrade your health insurance plan now.
This way, your wealth won’t be doomed by the possibility of endless medical bills of all kinds. You’re safe knowing that come what may in that area of your life, the insurance has got your back.
Find a New Career
You certainly won’t want to continue working the way you have until now when you’re retired, but you could consider finding a new activity that fulfills you and gets you money at the same time.
A part-time job helping out your community, or an occupation that doesn’t involve much work or stress, can keep you entertained when you’ve got nowhere else to go from 9 to 5, and earn you some extra income for your expenses.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill, and a few courses might get you in shape to actually start making money after 50 out of your hobbies. This way, you’ll be both engaged in an activity you enjoy, and continue building your wealth even when you’re retired.
If you’re looking for answers on how to get rich after 50, you ought to know that building wealth doesn’t happen overnight, no matter how young or old you are when you embark on this project. It does require time, patience, and hard work, but it’s completely possible if you’re committed enough.
Your 50’s is as good a time as any to start increasing your net worth; remember, there’s no time like the present! So get your budget out of the drawer, and start working on that financial plan that will hopefully get you closer to achieving your financial goals. With these 14 strategies for building wealth after 50, it should be easier than ever. Good luck!
Building Wealth After 50 FAQ
Your retirement account and emergency fund are probably the most important investments you can have in your 50s.
While the best time to start a retirement account is in your 20s, it is never too late to open one. If you’re in your 50s, the sooner you start the better, as you still have a few years to contribute to it before you retire.
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