So, you have reached the half-century milestone and wondering how much savings should I have at 50 UK?
Hmmm, how much “should” you have?
At 50, you should ideally have sufficient savings to make work optional in the near to mid future. To sleep soundly at night, you should be looking to have or create enough assets and income that you can live the lifestyle you want well into the future. The best way to do this is to create work you never want or need to retire from because it doesn’t feel like work.
How you do this may be the tricky part if you have not started it yet.
It’s not too late to start saving and building wealth at 50, but you don’t want to be leaving it much longer to take action.
Read on to find out how much savings might be enough at 50 and what action you can take to improve your situation now and in the future.
At least 6-12 months living costs
6-12 months will be your emergency fund.
Enough money to live without work for 6-12 months.
Hopefully, this should see you through most rocky patches, redundancy, change of circumstances, global pandemic etc.
With this level of saving, it also means that changes can happen to you or that you make that don’t immediately sink your ship.
- Companies, managers and jobs change
- Emergencies happen
- Unexpected home, car and medical repairs need to be taken care of.
Don’t let a crisis turn into a disaster.
Your emergency fund is there to prevent you from taking on debt and spiralling out of control when a financial shock happens.
If 6-12 months sounds like a lot, start with one month and build from there.
Start building now, and you never know when an emergency is coming.
A multiple of your salary
A study done by Fidelity hints at how to figure out how much savings you need to have by age to retire at 67.
Drum roll, Fidelity suggests that you need at least 1x your income by age 30, 3x by 40, 6x by 50, and 8x by 60. What YOU need might be different given your lifestyle, but these give you an idea what it might be for you.
Your income saved amount
67 when you can retire
When you plan to retire, i.e., before or after you receive a state pension and the type of lifestyle you want to have in retirement, other factors might raise or lower the amount you need to save.
Either way, the table above indicates that you need a fair amount saved at each age group.
If you are already behind on these suggestions, you have a few options to consider
- Ignore the problem and hope it goes away.
- Hope that your luck changes and a windfall is on its way
- Take action now to try and catch up.
25 times your expenses
Another way to calculate how much savings you might need at 50 is the 4% rule of thumb or 25 times your expenses.
Let’s say you spend £$€25k a year. If you had 25 X £25k, you would have a fund of £625,000.
4% of £625,000 = £25k.
4% represents the safe withdrawal rate you can use from your savings and investments for early or conventional retirement ages.
Just withdrawing 4% each year could, in theory, be small enough for you to be able to live off it forever.
If your £625,000 was invested in the great companies of the world through low-cost index funds, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for it to last a very long time.
You just need to manage yourself through the ups and downs of the stock market and your emotions.
The Millionaire Next Door net worth calculation
Thomas J Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door covers how ordinary Americans reached millionaire status through good financial habits and puts forward a calculation to figure out how much you “should” have.
The calculation used helped to define if you are considered a prodigious accumulator of wealth or an under-accumulator of wealth.
Your age X your household income (minus any inheritances) / 10 = your “expected” net worth
So, let’s say you earn £30k a year.
40 years X £30k / 10 = £120,000 is your expected net worth. if you have this or more minus inheritances, you’re a prodigious accumulator of wealth.
If not, you are an Under accumulator of wealth.
If you are an under-accumulator of wealth, it might indicate that what got you into this situation isn’t going to get you out.
Better financial habits may be your first prescription to turn around your finances at 50.
Collect or build more assets and fewer liabilities
If you have no savings at 50, you want to start collecting assets and getting rid of your liabilities as best you can.
Your liabilities might be
- Loans of various sorts
- Credit card debts
All of these are taking money out of your pockets
Whereas what you want more of is assets, these might include
- Investments, ISA’s and pensions
- Properties you own
- Businesses you own
- Physical or digital assets like websites
The more of these you can collect, the wealthier you will become.
You can, of course, use your skills and experience to create assets that will make work optional one day or don’t feel like work, so you don’t want or need to retire.
Could you create a business doing something you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what people will pay for?
If you could, maybe it would be work that didn’t feel like work.
You would have created physical or digital assets that generate an income for you, and you could sell one day.
These might be
Creating assets will help you make more ongoing income and things to sell if or when the time is right.
Find or create work that doesn’t feel like work.
If you’re starting to think about retirement but have no savings, then it might be time to start creating a job or business that you never need or want to retire from.
If you could use your talents to earn an income and you enjoyed doing it, then maybe you would be able to do it for a long time in the future.
This is where you would want to consider your unique talents and experiences that other people would want to hear more about and, in one way or another, be able to earn income from.
This could be direct face-to-face, i.e., coaching or mentoring in a profession or lifestyle
Or you are writing or blogging/vlogging about something where you earn income through products you sell or adverts on your website.
It’s possible that something involving a lot of physical labour, the latest tech, or constantly changing regulations might not be that sustainable but that all depends on your willingness and ability to keep adapting.
Choosing work or a business that you could do anywhere, anytime, online or face to face could be your way to create the savings you need at 50 and beyond.
Even better if you created a business that earned you money while you were asleep!!
Summary: How much savings should I have at 50 UK?
How much savings you should have at 50 depends on what good looks like to you and when you want work to become optional.
The sooner you want work to become optional, the more money, assets or ongoing income you need.
YOU definitely need to have an emergency fund set aside for a rainy day. Depending on your circumstances and appetite for risk needs to look something like 6-12 months living costs.
If this seems high, go for one month and build a form to your goldie locks emergency fund amount.
You could get an indication of how much savings you need to have at 50 by
- Having a multiple of your salary saved,
- Understanding how close you are to having 25 times your living costs saved
- Use the millionaire next door calculation to understand if you have been a good saver so far or need to pull your finger out.
Finding or creating income and assets that you love could be part of your savings strategy.
If you have work you love doing, you may not need to “save” in the traditional sense for retirement as you have created work that doesn’t feel like work and don’t need to retire from.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on how much savings should I have at 50 UK; let me know yours in the comments below.
Thanks for dropping by.
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