NEWSDAY: Top financial goals for 50-somethings

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Top financial goals for 50-somethings

When you hit your 50s, the time for financial fumbles is past. If not now, when? But according to the Prosper Financial Wellness Study, almost 33 percent of Americans over 55 don’t think about long term financial stability and 60 percent are not confident they could absorb a financial shock.

At this life stage, the must-do list is sizable. Here’s what should be at the top of your agenda.

  • Position yourself for a debt-free retirement. Put to pasture any lingering credit card and student loan debt. “The sooner you pay off the mortgage, the easier your life will be in retirement,” says Katie Ross, education and development manager for American Consumer Credit Counseling in Newton, Massachusetts.
  • Play catch up. Max out on retirement savings plans and take advantage of catch-up provisions that allow those 50 and older to sock away an extra $6,000 in their 401k and $1,000 in a traditional or Roth IRA. “These years are your last chance to beef up your nest egg,” says Robert Kleinman, a certified financial planner with Kleinman Financial Services in Port Washington.
  • Make big decisions. Consider long term care insurance. “The rates are lower and you may be able to deduct $1,460 on your tax return if you meet certain criteria,” says Cary Carbonaro, author of The Money Queen’s Guide. 

If you don’t have a will and other estate planning documents, get them in place or update existing documents if needed.

  • Set yourself free. Take your adult kids off your payroll. Says Douglas Dubitsky, a vice president at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in Manhattan, “After a lifetime of providing for others, focus on saving for yourself.”

CaryCarbonaro