The Midlife Financial Preparedness Checklist

Updated: Mar 4

For many of us, our 50th birthday is a catalyst for reflection on accomplishments achieved. Getting children through college, started on their own careers and moved out of the house (hopefully), climbing that corporate ladder, all while balancing spouse/partner relationships are achievements to be celebrated!

The big “5-0” can also be a time to review goals yet to be accomplished and formulate actions plans for our “second half.” Starting/selling a business, giving back via teaching/mentoring or practicing for retirement (check out the Fairhaven video library to learn more about this underused concept) are all common goals yet to be achieved.

The Fairhaven Standard of Care

An important element in achieving any goal is a well thought out plan. When planning, whether that be financial planning or planning for a trip to the grocery store, it can be helpful to start with a checklist.

Goals being highly personalized, not all elements of the following checklist will apply to you. Unique circumstances will likely demand unique solutions. However, the following framework is intended to facilitate discussion particularly for those in their 50s or anyone else who is considering re-evaluating their financial lives and what they still have to accomplish.

1. Financial planning

  • Define or redefine long-term financial goals

  • Review spending and cash flow (nicer than the “B” word … Budget)

  • Stress test your plan with a Monte Carlo analysis

2. Portfolio Review

  • Does the risk in your portfolio reflect your personal risk tolerance?

  • Is your portfolio properly diversified?

  • How do you diversify across asset classes? How many asset classes and why?

3. Retirement

  • Visualize your retirement? What do you see yourself doing on a Tuesday morning at 11am?

  • Are you maximizing employer-sponsored retirement plans?

  • Are you making use of Roth IRAs?

4. Family/Legacy

  • Are you saving for a wedding … or two?

  • Might there be a need to financially help adult children? If so, when and how much?

  • Is caregiving for aging parents a possibility?

5. Education

  • College spending plan: How do you balance 529/savings/scholarship/student plans?

  • Should spending be equalized if children have different college expenses?

  • Are you ready to negotiate your college tuition bill? YES, this can be done!

6. Debt/Liability Management

  • Should an asset-based line of credit be considered as a better way to borrow?

  • Have you reviewed loans and mortgages for interest rate savings?

  • If you own or manage a business, have you compared your commercial banking relationship?

7. Insurance Review