We recently introduced you to our four-part series looking at the dos and don’ts of personal finance through your life. We gave you personal finance advice for your 20s, 30s and 40s, helping you build a strong foundation for your early years and guiding you to tailor your savings plans as you pass life’s benchmarks. In this installment, Liz WestonMSN Money columnist and author of the book The 10 Commandments of Money – advises you on your 50s:

Do…

…consult with a fee-only financial planner about your retirement plan. Even if you managed it yourself in the past, you now need an expert’s opinion to make sure you’re on track.

…consider long-term care insurance.

…reduce your exposure to the stock market, if equities comprise more than 70 percent of your portfolio.

…invest in new skills to stay competitive in the job market. Take classes, get new certifications, attend conferences in your field – anything that helps you add skills.

…think about where you want to live and what you want to do in retirement. Now’s the time to refine your plan.


Don’t…

…bail out your kids (or grandkids) financially, especially if you’re behind on retirement savings.

…put off drafting a will and other estate-planning documents, such as a power of attorney, which will allow someone else to make health and financial decisions if you become incapacitated.

…fall for pitches for “safe, high, guaranteed” returns. Those three things don’t exist together.

…carry credit-card debt.

…co-sign loans for your kids.


What do you think is the most important part of managing finances in your 50s? How do your personal finance habits match up with those on this list?