Retirement Planning for People in Their Late 30s to Early 50s


Planning for retirement should be a lifelong process. For people mid-career, the late 30s to early 50s are a crucial time to perfect a successful plan for your retirement years. Consider these facts:

  • If you haven't started investing for retirement yet — start today! In a perfect world, you would have started saving for retirement when you began your first job. But if this is not your story, there is still hope! Start where you can and increase the percentage of your retirement contributions each year as you receive salary increases.


  • If you are investing for retirement now, don’t quit. Many families find that this point in life can be very expensive with new drivers, college expenses and even wedding costs. You may be tempted to stop or tap the brakes on your retirement contributions. There are a variety of ways to fund some larger life expenses — such as scholarships or student loans. It’s important to explore alternatives to fund these expenses rather than sacrificing a financially secure retirement.


  • Calculate how much you will need in retirement. Most financial planners recommend that the average family will need to replace between 70 and 90% of their pre-retirement income — taking into account Social Security payments, retirement savings or other potential sources of income. The exact amount needed will vary by family depending upon your unique situation and your current age. For example, retirees who have large fixed payments, such as a mortgage, may need to have more money available in retirement. Check out our Retirement Budget Worksheet as part of our Preparing for Retirement resources to help map out a plan and a budget.


  • Know where you are now. Take the time to evaluate your current retirement savings and your current contribution level. Consider using our Retirement Savings Calculator to help estimate your savings goals. Don't be discouraged if you feel behind in your retirement planning. We’re here to help you create a feasible plan and stick to it.


  • Invest a percentage of your salary, not a set dollar amount. A set dollar contribution will not keep up with inflation as your salary increases. It's best to contribute a percentage of your income to retirement investing, rather than a set dollar amount. If you set up your savings amount as a percentage, when your income rises, your contribution amount saved will automatically increase as a direct result.


Retirement planning requires close attention throughout your working years. If you have any questions regarding retirement planning, please contact us at 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433).