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Is 40 Too Late To Start Saving For Retirement?

Joan Mathews Joan Mathews 07 May 2019

As you turn 40, many aspects of life, including retirement planning, becomes more serious. If you haven’t already set a plan to secure your golden years, don't be disheartened - there’s still a lot you can do to fund your retirement.

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It’s never too late for you to begin saving for retirement. Even if you start saving at the age of 40, you will have around 20 years or so to save. Now, making room for all of your financial goals at this age may seem like a challenge, but saving and investing for your future needs to be at the top of your ‘to-do’ list. In this article, we will look into how you can go about planning to secure your retirement in your 40s.

Retirement Savings Tips in Your 40s

Following are some of the points you need to consider as you start saving for your retirement in your 40s:

  • Set realistic goals: This may not be something you want to hear, but at this stage, you probably need to revise your ‘perfect’ image of retirement. Be realistic about what needs to be done so that you have adequate funds to sustain you for decades to come. This could mean taking up a part-time job, scaling back your lifestyle, etc.
  • Keep track of expenses: When you’re earning well, you may feel the urge to spend more. You may want to buy a new car, invest in another house or take a vacation in a foreign country. While you can do all this, make sure to keep your spending in check. This way, you’ll have more money to save for retirement.
  • Eliminate debt: If you have any outstanding debt, it is best to pay it all off early. This way, you can use your current income to invest for your future, and you wouldn’t need to worry about any debt when you retire. Allocate some time and resources towards carrying out this task.
  • Create a financial goal: You need to be clear about how much you’re going to need once you retire. Begin by assessing where you are financially and where you need to be. On the basis of your financial goals, you can decide where to to park your hard-earned money for saving towards your retirement.
  • Maintain flexibility: Sometimes even the best-laid retirement plans may not fetch the desired results. Thus, it is important to maintain as much flexibility as possible. In case your initial investment plan does not deliver the expected results, you should be able to change the course and reduce your losses. Diversifying retirement portfolio is always a good idea.

How to Invest in Retirement Funds to Save for your Old Age

At this age, people are generally at the prime of their careers, earning better than they previously did. If you fall into this category, you are in a good position, where you can invest a higher figure towards retirement. There are a number of channels you can park your money in to secure your golden years. Two of the popular choices for retirement savings include mutual funds and pension plans. Below, we will look into how both of these two investment avenues work:

Mutual funds

Begin by understanding your risk profile and then identify the right platforms for investment. Middle-aged investors are generally long-term investors with a lower risk tolerance. Debt investments can be viewed as one of the best options for such investors, since their risk level is lower compared to equity schemes. Focus on building a diverse portfolio, where the investment in debt is higher than equity.

You also have the option of parking money in dedicated retirement funds, which carry a lock-in of five years or until retirement, whichever is earlier. Most retirement funds have 3 to 4 variants for different investor profiles. You can invest in schemes of a mutual fund by visiting the nearest branch office of the fund house or through the official website of the fund house.

Pension Plans

Pension plans or retirement plans are specially designed to help meet your post-retirement needs. They offer the dual benefits of investment and insurance cover. As you keep investing in a pension plan, the amount will keep growing on account of the compounding effect, which makes your final corpus quite sizeable. A well-chosen pension plan can help you rise above inflation. If you choose the deferred annuity route, you can make systematic premium payment or a lump sum premium payment over the tenure. Pension pay-outs will begin after the term is complete. In case of immediate annuity, you will need to make a lump sum investment. Pension pay-outs will be made immediately after the investment.

The Bottom Line

As stated above, it is never too late to start planning for your retirement. While this may seem like a daunting task for individuals in their 40s, there are many tools and resources available to help you get ready for retirement. Plan for retirement today so that you don’t have to go through the hassles of playing financial catch-up later in life. With an effective retirement plan in place, even in your 40s, you’ll be able to ensure that necessary finances are available to maintain a comfortable lifestyle, once you’ve retired.

Recommended Read: How to manage the shortfall in your investment corpus?

Joan Mathews
Written by Joan Mathews
Joan has over 4 years of experience writing for the BFSI industry. She enjoys watching mystery TV series, listening to 80s classics and spending time with her furbabies.