July 24, 2024

Here Are the Retirement Resolutions You Should Be Making Based on Your Age

Ridofranz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ridofranz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

As we head into 2024, resolutions are on many people’s minds. That includes financial resolutions.

In a recent GOBankingRates survey, nearly 10% of Americans said retirement planning topped their list of financial goals heading into 2024. (“Save more money” was the most popular resolution, with 22% of respondents listing that as their top focus for the new year.)

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Of course, saving for retirement works a bit differently depending on how close you are to it.

“As we look toward 2024, it’s clear that the best retirement resolutions are those tailored to our age and stage in life,” said Dominic James Murray, CEO and independent financial advisor at Cameron James. “For the young, it’s about establishing solid savings habits; in mid-life, it’s about aggressive growth and diversification; and as retirement nears, the focus shifts to fine-tuning savings and understanding retirement income sources.”

No matter your stage in life, there are retirement-related goals you can set in the new year that will set you up for success later on. Here are some ideas.

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30s: Build a Solid Foundation

At this point in your life, the focus should be on establishing robust financial habits, according to Murray. It’s a good time to start making consistent contributions to tax-advantaged retirement plans such as a 401(k) or IRA.

And don’t worry if you think you can’t contribute much yet — consistency is much more important than large deposits. “The magic of compound interest in this decade cannot be overstated,” Murray said. “Consistent contributions mean not just saving for the future, but also allowing your investments to grow significantly over time.”

He adds that making regular contributions to these retirement vehicles is a commitment to your future self.

“This stage is all about setting the groundwork for a stable financial future and balancing current lifestyle needs with long-term retirement goals,” Murray said.

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40s: Accelerate Savings and Investments

Once you enter your 40s, it’s an ideal time to reassess your retirement savings strategy and ramp up your contributions to retirement plans, if possible. You should ensure that your retirement savings are on track, and make any adjustments if necessary.

Murray noted this is also the time to harness the full potential of any employer match programs, which can significantly add to your portfolio size and compound return potential.

“Diversifying your investments becomes crucial at this stage to balance potential risks and growth, adapting to changing financial goals and market conditions,” Murray said. “It’s also about striking a balance between aggressive saving and enjoying your current lifestyle.”

50s: Refine Your Retirement Vision

Your 50s are critical for fine-tuning your retirement plans, according to Murray. You should focus on getting a clear picture of what your ideal retirement lifestyle looks like and adjusting your savings strategy accordingly. If you find that you’re behind, now is the time that you can start making catch-up contributions to retirement savings accounts.

“This period is also an opportunity to review other aspects of retirement planning, such as potential healthcare costs and how they will be managed,” Murray said.

Overall, it’s about being realistic with your retirement expectations and ensuring that your financial plans are robust enough to support your envisioned lifestyle.

60s: Prepare for the Transition to Retirement

Entering your 60s means preparing for a smooth transition into retirement. That involves getting a handle on your income sources in retirement, such as pensions, Social Security benefits, and withdrawals from other savings.

However, finances are half the story. “Your 60s are not just about financial preparation, but also about mentally adjusting to the change in lifestyle that retirement brings,” Murray noted. “It involves planning not just for the financial aspects, but also considering how you will spend your time, stay active, and maintain a fulfilling lifestyle post-retirement.”

Murray also emphasized that while age-specific retirement strategies are essential, the role of a financial advisor in crafting and maintaining these strategies can’t be overstated. So consider working with a pro as you set your resolutions and adapt your goals over time.

“Throughout these stages, the goals and strategies may vary, but the underlying principle is consistent: informed decision-making that builds towards a comfortable and fulfilling retirement,” Murray said. “Regular engagement with a financial advisor can ensure that your retirement plan remains aligned with your evolving life situation and financial goals.”

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Here Are the Retirement Resolutions You Should Be Making Based on Your Age

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