Retirement

How to save for retirement in your 50s

3 min read


In a perfect world most people would have their retirement plan well under way by the time they hit their 50s. Of course, life doesn’t always work out that way. If you’ve hit 50 and haven’t made much of a dent in those retirement plans, don’t panic, when it comes to saving, it’s definitely a case of ‘better late than never’. Here are five tips for people in their 50s to make a plan for retirement.

Figure out how much money you’ll need to live off

The first step toward getting your savings on track is the same for 50 year olds as it is for 20 year olds -- get the calculator out, think hard and figure out exactly how much money you’ll need to live off in retirement. This necessary first step is vital as it provides the platform for how you go about saving from here on out.

Tip: Helpfully, there’s a great online calculator for figuring this out at Sorted.org. It takes into account the amount you’ll get from superannuation and other income sources and provides you with an amount you’ll need to have saved to meet your income expectations.

Put your money to work

With anywhere from 5-15 years before you hit retirement age, there’s still time to put your money to work. If you’re a homeowner, chances are good that you’re well into paying off the mortgage and will have debts well under control meaning your money is ready to go to work. Look into investments such as term deposits that offer decent returns and go over your savings and any existing investments to ensure you’re getting the best return possible. If you’ve left your savings to look after itself for a while, now is the time to become reacquainted with it.

Tip: With less time before retirement there’s also less time for ‘slow burn’ investments to really pay off, so talk to your bank and find out if growth funds might be the right choice at this stage of life.

Knock that mortgage on the head

If it happens you still have a home loan, consider pumping extra payments into the remaining principle to finish it off as soon as possible. Even if it looks like you can’t finish paying off the house until after you hit 65, if you can increase your payments while you’re still working, it’ll ease the burden later on by paying off more principal and reducing the interest bearing portion of the loan. Your older self will thank you for your efforts.

Tip: To find out more about how paying extra off your home loan can save thousands in interest payments over the years, check out the various options available.

Get rid of your debt

If you’re still maintaining large amounts of debt such as credit cards and personal loans, it’s time to knuckle down and get rid of these high interest debts as soon as possible. It’ll take some discipline but it’s important to change those old habits while you’re still working.

Tip: Trouble paying down debt? You’re not alone. We’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to pay down debt to give you some ideas for taking control.

It’s never too late for KiwiSaver

KiwiSaver offers a range sweeteners that add up to help grow your savings. So if you never signed up for KiwiSaver because you figured it was too late, it’s time to reconsider. There are various ways in which KiwiSaver can grow your savings, no matter what stage of life you’re at. These include taking full advantage of government and employer contributions, such as member tax credits, and choosing the right fund.

Tip: Find out more about how KiwiSaver might be a good choice for you by reading our guide. Check it out here.


Invest in a better future

Joining the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme is a hassle-free way to start building your retirement nest egg or saving for your first home. Plus, there are great benefits to be enjoyed when you become a member.

Join or transfer to BNZ KiwiSaver today.