10 Legit Ways to Build Wealth After 50

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Hitting the 50-year milestone is a significant life event, an ideal opportunity to apply your wisdom towards smarter financial decisions. Here are 10 strategies to leverage your extensive knowledge for a secure financial future.

Update Your Investment Strategy

In your 50s, it’s critical to review or update your investment strategy. The goal here is to ensure that your investments align with your current risk tolerance and retirement timeline. This might mean shifting towards more conservative investments or exploring new opportunities that offer both growth potential and stability. 

Consulting with a financial advisor can provide personalized insights tailored to your unique financial situation.

Don’t Pull Money from Your 401(k)

When college bills start piling up, dipping into that 401(k) might seem like a good idea, but you really want to resist the temptation. J.P. Morgan Asset Management laid out the numbers: Stick to saving 8% starting at 25 (with a $30,000 salary going up 2% annually), and you’re looking at $1.3 million by 65. 

But, if you pull out $10,000 at 33 for a house, another $10,000 at 50 for college, and then an early $10,000 withdrawal at 62, you’re dropping down to $930,000.

Maximize Retirement Contributions

Now’s the time to take full advantage of catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts. This is less about making up for lost time and more about harnessing the power of compound interest and tax benefits to boost your retirement savings. 

The key here is to ensure you’re not leaving any potential tax-advantaged growth on the table.

Tackle Debt Strategically

As you navigate through your 50s, eliminating high-interest debt becomes crucial. Credit cards, personal loans, or any debt that’s eating away at your finances should be tackled head-on. 

The is to focus on the debts with the highest interest rates first, and work your way down. This will ensure you free up more of your money to work for you, rather than against you.

Consider Being a Landlord 

The real estate landscape is showing signs of vitality, but there are still places where buying property to rent out makes sense. Keep an eye out for areas with strong population growth and low unemployment – they’re hotspots for renters.

Diversify Your Income

The notion of retirement is evolving, and so should your income strategies. Side gigs, consultancy roles, or turning a hobby into a small business can both fuel your passion and boost your income. 

This approach creates a buffer that can support your lifestyle and savings goals, offering both financial and personal fulfillment.

Get Creative with Income Streams

The modern economy offers excellent opportunities for generating additional income. Whether it’s through real estate ventures like sub-dividing property or leveraging platforms such as Airbnb, there’s many avenues to explore. 

Transform Your Home Equity into a Strategic Asset

For many, the family home is the largest asset they own. As you get closer to retirement, it’s time to view that asset through a new lens. Downsizing can unlock significant capital, reducing living expenses while bolstering your savings. 

Alternatively, if you’re not keen on moving, consider renting out a portion of your home. These strategies can turn a static asset into a dynamic source of income or financial relief.

Don’t Go Overboard with School Loans

It’s tough to say no to your kid, which might be why parent PLUS loans have blown up over the last decade. But, loading up on loans with a 6.4% interest rate is a gamble. 

A handy tip: Only borrow what you can pay back in 10 years, or before you retire, whichever comes first.

Seek Professional Guidance When Needed

Navigating the financial landscape in your 50s doesn’t have to be a solo journey. A financial planner or advisor can be a game-changer, offering insights and strategies that you might not have considered. 

Whether it’s optimizing your tax situation, planning for healthcare costs, or estate planning, professional advice can help you make informed decisions that align with your long-term goals.

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