Facing middle age can be challenging enough without adding all the pitfalls that come with your finances. Sure, it can bring greater stability in your home and career, but it can also just as easily bring a mid-life crisis spurred on by changing careers, getting divorced, or facing an empty nest. Here you are: sitting right between the last vestiges of your youth, yet not old enough to face the comfort of retirement. It’s in this sandwich stage that you can lose sight of what you really want from life – and your finances could be suffering.
Here are some of the biggest challenges middle aged people may be facing right now.
Nest egg protection: With so many Millennials coming home after college graduation to live with their parents again, you may find yourself playing host to your adult children and supporting them financially yet again. At the same time, you may also be tasked with the care of your own aging parents. While it’s certainly noble to support your kids and parents at a time when they need it, you have to be sure you’re not taxing your own retirement funds to do so. Help them if you can but don’t dip into your retirement. You still have 10 to 20 years of earning potential, which is crucial to ensuring a solid nest egg when you hit 65.
Be resilient: Getting fired or laid off in your 40s or 50s can seem like a big blow – not just to the wallet but to the ego as well. Facing such uncertainty at this age can be terrifying, but just keep going. Get another job, network, plug away, and keep saving. Don’t let a career blip sideline your efforts to save for retirement.
Reflect on your life: When unexpected changes are thrown at you during middle age, it can really throw your life out of whack. You may find yourself questioning your values, what you want out of life, and where you should go from here. Because you’re often overextended with work and family responsibilities, it’s easy to be caught by surprise when something unexpected happens, such as illness or divorce, says US News and World Report.
Have ongoing discussions with your partner: Take some time on a regular basis to go over your finances with your spouse. Review splitting of responsibilities to make sure they’re still working (i.e., one person manages the bills while the other oversees the household duties) and make changes if need be. Talk regularly with your financial planner or stock broker to ensure your choice of investment portfolio is still working in conjunction with your goals. It’s also wise to have a stockbroker fraud attorney in your corner as well.
Middle age can be rewarding and scary at the same time. Don’t let things blindside you, but rather be prepared.