It's Not Too Late to Start Investing in Your 50s

  • By Lee Kyung-eun

    October 03, 2023 08:20

    The biggest age group in Korea is currently in their 50s, totaling 8.62 million people this year or 17 percent of the total population, and their biggest concern is whether it is too late to start preparing for retirement.
    However perhaps it is never too late. Investment guru Warren Buffett had only 0.2 percent of his current wealth when he was 50 years old and accumulated the rest in the autumn of his years.
    Shin Dong-hoon at Meritz Securities said, "Whether the 30 years after retirement will be a pleasant journey or a difficult one depends on how you live your life in your 50s. It's not too late to build up a reasonable amount of assets in your 50s to ensure a comfortable retirement for yourself and your loved ones."
    The 50s is the period in life when people's income typically reaches its peak. According to Statistics Korea, the average net assets of people in their 50s are the highest among all age groups, worth W534.73 million (US$1=W1,349).  
    However, the challenge is that expenses also tend to increase significantly as it is also the time they get used to more comfortable lifestyles and have bigger homes and mortgages, and kids and aging parents to support.
    "Since a financial setback in your 50s can have a significant impact, it's important to focus on preserving your principal while seeking stable returns. Invest in companies that will still thrive a decade from now, and consider companies with a solid track record of dividends," Shin advises.
    In real estate, avoid long-term investments that tie up your money such as redevelopment or reconstruction projects. The same goes for land. It may take a long time, and your children's generation might benefit from it after you are gone.
    "Business ventures are also not for everyone, and it's best to avoid using retirement funds to start up your own shop. Financial products with low to moderate risk that provide regular income are suitable," Shin added.
    This emphasizes the importance of financial planning and prudent investment choices for individuals in their 50s as they prepare for retirement and financial stability in the later stages of life. 
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