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  • Writer's pictureHilary M.K. Poff | CFA

Late Bloomers: Starting Comprehensive Retirement Planning in Your 50s

In an ideal world, retirement planning begins the moment you collect your first paycheck. However, life isn't linear, and many professionals find themselves in their 50s without a solid retirement plan in place. If you're reading this, it's possible you feel you're lagging in your retirement preparation. The good news? It's never too late to start or refine your retirement strategy. Here’s a guide designed for late bloomers, providing actionable steps to help ensure a more comfortable retirement.

6 Actionable Steps for Late Bloomers

Firstly, acknowledge that starting in your 50s can still yield significant rewards. This decade is often marked by peak earning years, possibly fewer family expenses, and a clearer picture of your retirement wants and needs. It's a potent time to harness financial resources towards retirement planning.

Below are some actionable steps you can take to start planning for your retirement.

Evaluate Your Current Financial Health

Before anything else, take a comprehensive look at your current financial situation. List out your assets, debts, expenses, and income. Tools like a pre-retirement financial guide can help distil this information into a clear picture. Consider consulting a retirement financial advisor to get personalized advice tailored to your situation.

Maximize Your Savings

In your 50s, you're likely at or near your peak earning capacity. It's crucial to allocate a significant portion of your income towards savings. Look into catch-up contributions for RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) and TFSAs (Tax-Free Savings Account) that the Canadian government allows for those over 50 to help them accelerate savings for retirement.

Invest Wisely

Investment can be a key component of a retirement plan, potentially yielding considerable growth over time. However, investing in your 50s might require a different strategy than if you were younger, usually with a focus on lower-risk investments. Independent portfolio management firms like Sharp Asset Management, based in Toronto, could provide unbiased, experienced guidance.

Plan for Healthcare Costs

Healthcare can become a significant expense in retirement. In Canada, while many healthcare services are covered, not everything is free. Long-term care, prescriptions, dental, and vision care are costs that should be considered in your retirement planning. A health savings account, if available, can be a prudent way to set aside money for these expenses tax-free.

Consider Your Retirement Lifestyle

Take some time to think about your retirement dreams. Do you wish to travel? Downsize your home? Pursue hobbies that you've never had time for? Understanding your retirement lifestyle can help you frame how much you'll need to save in order to comfortably enjoy your golden years.

Don’t Underestimate Social Capital

Beyond financial capital, consider your social capital. Building up your network and relationships can open up opportunities for personal fulfillment and even potential income streams, such as consulting in your field of expertise. Your social capital can help you navigate through retirement and enrich your life in retirement beyond the finances.

It’s About Making the Most of Now – Consult with the Professionals at Sharp Asset Management

Starting your retirement planning in your 50s with a focus on these steps can significantly improve your financial security in retirement. It’s not about lamenting lost time; it’s about maximizing the opportunities that your current financial capacity can offer.

Sharp Asset Management Inc. is an independent Portfolio Management firm that is 100% owner operated. We are not affiliated with any financial institution, securities firm or mutual fund company. As a result, our investment decisions are unbiased and we do not earn any commissions or fees on investments we choose on behalf of our clients.

All of our investment counsellors are charter financial analysts, have the highest level of achievement, and have over 10 years of experience managing portfolios. Start the conversation today and set your sights on a retirement filled with possibility. To learn more about investing with Sharp Asset Management, contact us today.

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