4 Difficult After-50 Financial Decisions Made Easy

By on September 1, 2015
4 difficult after 50 financial decisions

By Patricia Sarmiento−

In many ways your golden years really are golden. As you make the most of retirement, you have more time to spend with friends and family, doing hobbies you love, traveling, and trying new things. What you don’t hear much about are the downsides of post-50 living, and specifically, the difficult financial decisions you’ll have to make along the way.

My mother-in-law learned this the hard way, recently, when my father-in-law passed away. Suddenly, she had lost her decades-long companion and best friend and was being bombarded with questions about his finances—the will, what to do with his car, and so on. My husband helped her through as much of the process as he could, but we could see that the stress of being asked to make these decisions so soon after his passing really took its toll.

It got me thinking about women and post-50 financial decisions. What did I need to know to ensure that I would be financially secure later in life and what would I want the other women in my life—my mom, my sister, my nieces—to be considering as they age? After all, women live longer than men so it’s important that we make decisions that will keep us financially healthy for as long as possible. I began looking into some of the financial decisions women face as they age and put together a few tips to (hopefully!) make making them a little easier:

To retire or not to retire? When faced with this question, I think we all think we’ll answer with a resounding, “Yes!” to retirement. But as you near your mid-60s and the opportunity to retire gets closer, sometimes the lines can blur a bit. We’re all expected to retire at a certain age, but in fact, there are many reasons why the timing might not be right for you.

Bankrate.com provides a great overview of reasons it might be best to postpone retirement—from not having plans for how you’ll spend your time to having financial obligations that exceed what your retirement savings will support. If you fall into any of the categories they’ve listed, it might be best that you wait a couple of more years before retirement.

Age in place or move? Most seniors want to age in place, but their homes aren’t always so accommodating. This is a very emotional decision for many. After all, when you leave a home you’ve lived in for decades, you aren’t just leaving familiar surroundings, you’re leaving behind many happy memories.

Seniorliving.com provides factors to consider that will help you take the emotional element out of making your decision. For example, when deciding whether to age in place or move, it suggests assessing your physical and mental health, considering what will need to go into maintaining the home overtime, thinking about whether you’ll have enough social interaction, and more.

To sell or not to sell after the death of a spouse?As I touched on before, women live longer than men. So, often women are left to decide what to do with the family home after their spouse dies. My mother-in-law really struggled with this decision. She didn’t want to leave behind the house she had shared with her husband, but she didn’t want to live alone either.

Ultimately, she came to live with us for a few months and is now thriving in an assisted living facility. If you do decide to sell, as this guide on selling inherited homes notes, be sure to get guidance on all the tax implications and choose a real estate agent you feel comfortable with. Doing so can make this difficult process easier to manage.

Start a business or enjoy some time off? Because many people in America dislike their jobs, the thought of wanting to work during retirement is completely foreign to them. But retirement is about spending your time the way you want to spend your time. And if you decide to use your retirement years to start that business you’ve always dreamed of, then go for it!

If you’ve been putting off your desire to become an entrepreneur, this article offers some suggestions for sound business ventures for retirees. Why not use the expertise you developed in your pre-retirement years to make your retirement years profitable and fulfilling.

Our golden years are rewarding, indeed. But getting to the point where you can live your most satisfied, happy life after 50 requires making tough decisions along the way. When you meet these decisions head on and with the right information to guide you, you can ensure your golden years will be the best yet.

About Patricia Sarmiento

Patricia Sarmiento channels her love of fitness and wellness into blogging about health and health-related topics. A long-time swimmer and runner, she played sports in high school and college and continues to make living an active lifestyle a goal for her and her family. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland.

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4 Difficult After-50 Financial Decisions Made Easy