Money and insurance

Catching up on your retirement plan at 50: 6 ways to get started right now

Don’t ever think it’s too late to come up with a retirement plan. Here’s how you can catch up on your safety net.

You’ve just turned 50 and realized you haven’t done financial planning for the next decades of your life. Perhaps your savings were paralyzed by a major medical procedure when you were younger. Maybe you were the breadwinner of the family and couldn’t put away money for retirement. Perhaps you just haven’t seriously thought about your financial wellbeing.

Before you panic and think it’s too late for you, you should know that you can still get your act together and enjoy a fiscal safety net by the time you retire. Here are some tips to get you started on your retirement savings at 50 so you will have financial freedom by the time you’re 60 or 65.

1. Settle your debt

One of the biggest things that hinders one from saving money for retirement is debt. It’s an obligation that just has to be met, like lingering credit card bills or mortgage. Debt interest can eat up a chunk of your monthly income on top of your household expenses and other bills. Call your credit card issuer and ask if they have a debt amnesty program. For your mortgage, check with other banks if they have lower interest rates or if you qualify for PAG-IBIG housing loan—and how you can transfer your loan. Then do serious financial planning and budgeting to strategize how to clear your other debts. If you have a second (or third) car that’s not being used, sell it and use the money to pay off remaining debts.

2. Scale down your expenses and start saving

Make the necessary lifestyle adjustment to save money here and there. If you’re catching up on your retirement plan, make up for lost time by reconsidering your monthly bills and other expenses. Start putting more money into your savings account and check how you can cut some expenses, say on utilities and subscriptions. Assess which aspects of your lifestyle you can cut down on. Are you eating out too many times? Start cooking at home. Learn the difference between needs and wants so you can be the wise spender and smart saver you want to be.

3. Work extra hours or do part-time jobs

With all your bills, you may be wondering how you can save up enough money especially if you're planning to retire soon. If you feel that you’re performing well, maybe it’s time to ask for a raise. If this is not granted, do (paid) overtime. You can also take on side hustles or freelance work to reach your monthly quota of savings.

4. Keep calm and start growing your money

Do you know how much you need for retirement? Check out FWD’s  calculator to help find out how much you need for retirement. Use this as a motivation to streamline your future while you still have time and while you still can. Keep calm and save the recommended amount every month starting now.

5. Exercise smart investing

Once you have saved a sizeable amount, investing is a great way to augment your retirement plan. Investment-linked insurance such as FWD Manifest or Set for Life are two options you can consider if you want to build a retirement fund in the next five to ten years. These plans give you life protection while growing your hard-earned money. Having a health insurance such as FWD Set for Health or BIG 3 should also be on top of your list.   

6. Get expert help.

It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed by the sheer effort it will take to put your retirement plan in motion. It’s best to talk to a financial expert for professional advice on how you can catch up on your retirement savings at 50. Do not be disheartened that you’re starting only now. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Rewards are sweeter when you earn them on your own—that is, without being too dependent on your children or your employer. Everyone can attain financial freedom. You can, too, by talking to an FWD financial advisor to get you started on your financial wellbeing.

This article is part of a comprehensive series titled “Retirement Planning 101: A 5-Step Guide to Securing Your Future”. The series aims to provide you with valuable insights and practical steps to plan your retirement effectively.