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Can I Retire at Age 60? An Investment Guide

Financial planning is vital to ensure a comfortable retirement. It can help you plan for your future goals and develop a plan according to your current financial situation. A retirement plan typically includes saving and investing strategies for retirement. It also involves creating a budget, minimizing debt, and exploring different options for generating continued retirement income. Comprehensive planning is essential to ensure you have the financial resources you need to enjoy your golden years without worrying about money. 

The minute details of a retirement plan can be decided based on the age you want to retire. Those who wish to retire early in their 40s or 50s may need to adopt aggressively frugal ways to save and invest toward their future needs. Retirement planning may be relatively easier for those looking to retire at the full retirement age, presently 67 years old for those turning 62 in 2023. The later you retire, the more time you have to save and the shorter your retirement and related financial needs. Consider consulting with a professional financial advisor who can help you create a custom retirement plan based on your needs and goals.

A lot of people retire at the age of 60. This gives them a clean milestone to achieve and plan for their goals. It is also the appropriate age to enjoy the golden years, travel, and explore before age-related health concerns start to show. However, it is essential to adopt the right strategies for financial planning to retire at 60 in order to be financially secure and independent. 

How much does a married couple need to retire at 60?

Some studies carried out in 2022 suggest that financial experts believe an average couple aged 60 with an annual income of $75,000 each should save up to seven times their household income or $525,000 for retirement. These figures can be a roadmap for someone retiring right now or in a few years but are bound to lose their value in the future. These figures may also not be accurate for all households. People have varied financial liabilities, responsibilities, and goals even with the same income. Some couples may be supporting their children after retirement, while others may only be looking after themselves. Either way, it is crucial to take a look at your unique financial needs, consider the standard of living in the city you reside in right now and the one you may want to settle in after retirement, and then fix a retirement target.

The amount of money you need to save in retirement will also be determined based on whether or not you continue to work in retirement. Some people may work part-time or consider entrepreneurship, which can help them keep a source of income. This will also impact your Social Security benefits. More of this is explained below. 

Can I retire at age 60 and collect Social Security benefits?

No, you will not be able to collect Social Security benefits at the age of 60. You can start receiving your benefits from the age of 62. However, you get full benefits only when you reach your full retirement age. Collecting benefits at the age of 62 can reduce your benefits by 30%. Early retirement can affect your check considerably. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA) website, your check is reduced 5/9 of 1% for each month before the normal retirement age up to 36 months. If the number of months exceeds 36, the benefit is reduced by 5/12 of 1% per month. Further, if you delay your benefits up to the age of 70, your benefit amount increases.

If you plan to retire at 60, you need to consider two things:

  • You will need to plan for the first two years of retirement without Social Security benefits. When you finally collect your benefits at the age of 62, you will be able to do so for a longer period of time.
  • If you collect your benefits at a later age after delaying, you will get a higher check. You will also be eligible for delayed retirement credits. 

Make sure to stay up to date about Social Security, as the laws and values are subject to change. For instance, in 2023, the average Social Security payout has been increasing by 8.7% compared to 5.9% in 2022. So, collectors will get $146 more in monthly benefits. An individual retiring at the full retirement age in 2023 will receive a Social Security check of $3,627. 

How to save for retirement in your 60s  

Some experts recommend saving at least 70% of your pre-retirement income to sustain a similar lifestyle in retirement. Another study carried out in 2022 found that the average and median retirement account balances for people between the ages of 55 and 64 were $256,244 and $89,716. You may be alarmed if you compare this to $525,000, the required average balance for an average couple aged 60. It is essential to take a look at your retirement nest egg and see where you stand.

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If you find yourself falling short of the required target, you can use the following accounts and strategies to secure your retirement financially:

1. Maximize your 401k and IRA contributions

You can contribute up to a maximum of $22,500 annually in a 401k and $6,500 in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Maximizing these limits can help you speed up the process and ensure consistent and steady contributions all throughout your earning years. The 401k also offers the benefit of an employer match. For every contribution, you have the possibility to save more and earn more through your employer match. Therefore, make sure you use it to your advantage. 

Additionally, you also get to benefit from tax advantages by investing in both these accounts. The 401k and IRA are tax-advantaged accounts that offer tax savings on your contributions in the case of traditional accounts and on your withdrawal in retirement in the case of Roth accounts. You can pick any of these based on your preference. 

2. Take advantage of catch-up contributions

One of the best ways to save for retirement in your 60s is to take advantage of catch-up contributions. You can make additional contributions to your 401(k) or IRA beyond the regular limits. In 2023, the catch-up contribution limit for 401(k) plans is 7,500, and for IRAs, it is $1,000. By taking advantage of these additional contributions, you can help to boost your retirement savings.

3. Diversify your investment portfolio

Portfolio diversification helps in managing investment risk by spreading your money across different asset classes, sectors, market capitalizations, and geographical regions. The idea behind diversification is that different types of investments will perform differently in different market conditions, so spreading your money across multiple assets can help reduce the overall risk of your portfolio. Typically, when one investment performs poorly, the others may perform better, helping to offset the losses.

Diversification can help reduce volatility and increase the overall returns of your portfolio. When you diversify your portfolio, you are able to take advantage of the different returns generated by various investments. This can make your portfolio more profitable in the long run. Retiring at 60 gives you a long investment horizon, considering you start investing at a young age. However, it is also vital to ensure you diversify during this time and spread your money across lucrative opportunities to reach your target on time. 

4. Monitor your spending habits

Monitoring your spending has many benefits that can help you achieve your financial goals and lead a more financially stable life. You can do this through various methods, such as using a budgeting app, keeping a spending journal, or simply reviewing bank statements. When you keep an idea of your expenses and spending habits, you better understand where your money is going. You can spot areas that need your attention, cut back on spending, and put that money towards saving or investing. It also helps you to avoid overspending and getting into a debt trap. Moreover, keeping a close eye on your spending in the years leading up to retirement is particularly important. By cutting back on unnecessary expenses, you can free up money that can be used to boost your retirement savings. 

5. Consider downsizing your home

Downsizing is the process of reducing the size and scale of your home. It can also refer to getting rid of assets and possessions you do not necessarily need but end up spending your money on. For instance, multiple cars, homes, etc., can all lead to increased expenditure. Downsizing reduces the cost of living by lowering mortgage payments, property taxes, and utility bills like electricity, water, gas, etc. Additionally, downsizing can free up money that can be invested or saved for retirement. If you are paying a mortgage, downsizing to a smaller home can free up cash that can be used for retirement savings.

Additionally, downsizing may also be able to reduce your living expenses post-retirement. So, if you plan to retire at 60 but are falling short of your target, you can consider downsizing your home and moving into a smaller one. Owning a larger home often overwhelms people with upkeep and cleaning, and downsizing to a smaller space can alleviate this stress. It can also allow for a simpler and more minimalist lifestyle, which can be very satisfying.

Downsizing can also provide opportunities for travel and adventure, as it allows you to free up time and money previously spent on maintaining a larger home. And it may offer you a chance to move closer to your loved ones or to areas where you would like to live.

6. Reduce your debt

Debt management helps to reduce stress and improve your overall financial well-being. High debt can be a source of constant tension as you may struggle to make payments and worry about the long-term consequences. Getting rid of debt can free up money for other important financial goals, such as saving for retirement, buying a home, or starting a business. Having low or no debt can also provide more flexibility in case of unexpected expenses, like medical emergencies, job loss, etc., which can stall your retirement savings. High levels of debt, particularly credit card debt, can hurt your credit score, making it more difficult to obtain loans or credit in the future. By paying off debt, you can improve your credit score, which can open up new financial opportunities.

7. Consider working a little longer

If you have not been able to save as per your desired retirement target, it may be better to postpone retirement. Working longer can have several benefits for retirement planning. By continuing to work, you can continue to save for retirement and potentially increase the size of your nest egg. Your Social Security benefits are calculated on the basis of your earnings during your working years. The longer you work, the higher your benefits will be. You also have the opportunity to accumulate more pension benefits, pay off any debts before retirement, etc. Moreover, work can provide a sense of purpose and routine, which can be beneficial for mental and physical health.

Having said that, it is essential to note that working longer may not be feasible for everyone, and it is necessary to consider factors such as physical and mental health, job availability, and personal circumstances before making a decision.

To conclude

Saving for retirement may seem daunting, but following the investment tips mentioned above can help you build a comfortable nest egg. It is also essential to evaluate and understand your goals, liabilities, and future needs before creating a retirement plan. A consistent and disciplined retirement planning routine with consistent savings and investments will help ensure you’re on track to achieving your goals. If all of this seems daunting, you may also consider seeking a professional for financial advice. Use the free advisor match service to get matched with 1-3 financial advisors that may be able to help you. Answer a few questions based on your financial needs, and the match tool can help connect you with a suitable advisor.

For additional information on investment strategies suited to meet your unique retirement goals and requirements, visit Dash Investments or email me directly at dash@dashinvestments.com.

About Dash Investments

Dash Investments is privately owned by Jonathan Dash and is an independent investment advisory firm, managing private client accounts for individuals and families across America. As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm with the SEC, they are fiduciaries who put clients’ interests ahead of everything else.

Dash Investments offers a full range of investment advisory and financial services, which are tailored to each client’s unique needs providing institutional-caliber money management services that are based upon a solid, proven research approach. In addition, each client receives comprehensive financial planning to ensure they are moving toward their financial goals.

CEO & Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Dash has been profiled by The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and CNBC as a leader in the investment industry with a track record of creating value for his firm’s clients.

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The blog articles on this website are provided for general educational and informational purposes only, and no content included is intended to be used as financial or legal advice.
A professional financial advisor should be consulted prior to making any investment decisions. Each person's financial situation is unique, and your advisor would be able to provide you with the financial information and advice related to your financial situation.