12 Keys to Building Wealth After 50

To borrow from an old saying, the best time to start building your wealth was 30 years ago. The second-best time is now. You can’t go back in time, but you can start working toward your goal today.

Stephanie Faris
Published January 6th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • The key to increasing your wealth at any age is simple: spend less and save more.
  • Once you’ve squeezed a little extra money out of your budget each month, you’ll first need to reduce your bad debt so that you can start earning interest rather than paying a creditor interest for money you’ve borrowed.
  • One of the fastest ways to build wealth is through investing. You can diversify your investments to reduce your risk and maximize your potential reward.

To borrow from an old saying, the best time to start building your wealth was 30 years ago. The second-best time is now. You can’t go back in time, but you can start working toward your goal today.

But where do you start? There are plenty of articles advising on the best ways to build wealth at a young age, but you can actually boost your financial assets at any age. The key is to find a way to put a portion of your income toward paying off your debt, saving for the future, and investing. Here are 12 tips to help you get started.

Make a Plan

Before you can start putting any of the 12 rules for building wealth after age 50 tips into action, you’ll first need a plan. Start by creating a budget, then be realistic about how much you can save in the months and years to come.

Reduce your expenses

It probably sounds obvious, but building wealth after 50 is no different than building it at any age. You’ll need to spend less and save more. Once you’ve begun to master that side of things, you can start to decide what to do with the extra money you have each month. Find small ways to cut back, including cooking at home instead of dining out or doing takeout, cutting back on entertainment and travel, or buying an older used car to eliminate your car payment.

Consider a side gig

Once you’ve started working on your goal of finding how to build wealth in your 50s by cutting expenses, a great next step is to increase your income. There are plenty of side jobs you can do, thanks to the gig economy, from food delivery to rideshare driving. You can also take a part-time job or make money pet sitting or selling crafts at local fairs.

Build an emergency fund

As you’re working toward building wealth, you can suffer setbacks. Your car could break down or you could have unexpected medical expenses. Put your initial extra money toward building an emergency fund. Then when something happens, you can use that money rather than accruing more high interest debt with credit cards.

Erase your debts

By the time you’re 50, it’s important to start to think about building wealth for retirement. This makes getting out of debt a top priority. You won’t want that burden when you leave the workforce and your income drops. Make a goal to put money each month toward paying off loans and credit card balances. There are a number of different ways to approach your debt and a skilled advisor can help you best plan your efforts to minimize accrued interest.

Take advantage of catch-up contributions

It might not be the key to how to become wealthy in your 50s, but contributing to retirement savings accounts now can pay off in a decade or two. In 2021, the IRS allows taxpayers who are aged 50 and over to put an extra $6,500 into a 401(k), 403(b), SARSEP, or governmental 457(b). You can make a $1,000 catch-up contribution to your Roth or Traditional IRA. These limits have remained the same as they were in 2020. This is in addition to the limits the IRS sets each year for retirement plan contributions.

Diversify your investments

Unless you’re going to invent the next big gadget, building wealth in your 50s will likely involve investing. But investing can come with risk. By diversifying, you’ll have your money in a variety of assets and asset classes. Combine stocks with low- to no-risk investments like corporate bonds, CDs, and no-yield savings accounts.

Start downsizing

You’ll likely start serious retirement planning after 50, at least at some point in the decade to follow. You can get a headstart on that by starting to downsize. If you can find a way to sell some of your items, you may find that you’re even making some extra money by clearing out your house.

Create a Health Savings Account

One of the biggest expenses you’ll have after retirement is your medical care. By starting to sock some money away now, you can be prepared. If your employer offers an HSA, take advantage of it, but you can get one on your own if your employer doesn’t provide health insurance.

Consider paying off your home

Eliminating your mortgage can give you extra money each month. You’ll also save on interest. Crunch the numbers to see if it’s in your best interest to pay off the mortgage or invest those funds elsewhere, but keep in mind that when you retire, having a home that’s fully paid off will be a big help.

Rethink insurance

Once you’ve started working on how to get rich after 50, it’s important to carefully scrutinize all of your insurance policies. If you have the money in the bank to cover damage to your vehicle, you might not need low-deductible car insurance, for instance. This is also a good time to determine what life insurance or disability insurance you do or do not need.

Ask a pro

Whether you’re considering the best stocks to build wealth after 50 or you’re simply trying to find the right retirement savings account, a Certified Financial Planner® can help. Take advantage of any retirement planning seminars you can find and sit down one-on-one with an expert who can help.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to put every single one of the 12 strategies for building wealth after 50 to get results. The key is to create a plan and find extra money in your budget each month to put toward reaching your financial goals. Once you’re beginning to earn interest on your money, rather than spending it on debt, you’ll find the dollars gradually start to add up.

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Author
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a writer for a credit card processing service and has written about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on Money Under 30, The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, E-commerce Insiders, and GoBankingRates.

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