Click below to listen to Episode 46 – Financial Tips For Every Life Stage

Financial Tips For Every Life Stage

Are you just starting out or nearing retirement? Most people want to know if they are on track no matter what stage of life they are in.

With each stage in life comes different hurdles and considerations financially, mentally, and physically. Bob and Mary Jo cover the financial aspects of the most common life stages. Whether you are just getting started, on the brink of retirement, or somewhere in between, consider your life stage when making these financial decisions that can impact your future.

The 5 main life stages covered in this episode include:

  • Twenty and fearless – what to do now
  • So, you’re in your thirties – now what
  • Fabulous and Forty – where did the time go
  • Fifty and freaked out – what to do in this phase
  • Sixty, sagging, and loving life!

HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA® and Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®

Mentioned In This Episode

Christian Financial Advisors
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Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®
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Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®

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Welcome to Christian Financial Perspectives, a weekly program where we talk about ways to integrate your faith with your finances. This is Bob Barber.

This is Mary Jo Lyons.

Are you ready to learn the truth about money from a biblical perspective?

Join us as we discuss what God’s Word says about money and integrating your faith with your finances… If it’s your first time listening, welcome to the program. If you’re a returning listener, welcome back.


Bob: Ecclesiastes three, three through eight. “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to uproot. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to tear down, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Bob: “A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them. A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up. A time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear, and a time to mend. A time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate. A time for war, and a time for peace.”

Bob: So for today’s podcast, we’re going to be discussing financial tips for all these times, and we’re going to call it Financial Tips For Every Life Stage. If you’re just starting out or nearing retirement, most people want to know if they’re on track, and what stage of life they’re in. So whether you’re just getting started on the brink of retirement, or somewhere in between, consider the life stage when making those decisions that can impact your financial future.

Mary Jo: First off, I think it’s important to remind our listeners about a few financial tips that are relevant for any life stage. It’s always a good idea to reevaluate your risk tolerance. This can change over time due to your current situation and market conditions.

Mary Jo: And you know, Bob, we were just talking about this, and the market’s rocking and rolling and heated up. We’re not going to change our philosophy, but what is always a good reminder to clients and investors, do you have the appropriate risk tolerance? So that’s something to always consider.

Bob: And we’ve talked about that on some other podcasts, haven’t we? And you really need to not just look at it in percentages, but in dollar amount, how much can you tolerate?

Mary Jo: Absolutely. And do you have your needs for the next three years in cash or cash equivalent? Good thing to keep in mind, no matter what life stage you’re in. Next, it’s important to reevaluate your financial goals and investment strategies at least annually, and as significant life events occur. Just to see if you’re on track.

Mary Jo: And lastly, review your asset allocation to make sure your investment portfolio is diversified across all the various asset classes based on your risk tolerance. Be sure to consider your aggregate or overall portfolio, not just your 401k. Do all your investment accounts fit together and complement one another? You can’t just look at each account in a vacuum.

Bob: That’s the truth. And so many people do, Mary Jo. They look at it that way. They don’t look at it from a holistic point of view. And, Mary Jo, I’ve mentioned on a lot of podcasts, we’ve been building a house for a long time, we’ve got one blueprint. We don’t have five different blueprints and five different builders. You’ve got to stay focused where you can see the whole picture.

Bob: So those things that you just mentioned really go with any life stage. We’re going to go into four or five different life stages, and that first one has to do with age. And the first life stage is what we call in your 20s and fearless, or you’re just starting out. What do you do when you’re in your 20s? And hang on with us, because we’re going to get to your life stage wherever you are, but these are good things to think about.

Bob: Maybe you’re in your 50s, but maybe you have some children or you have a cousin or a nephew that’s 20. so these are good life stages that you can share with others. In that first life stage, in 20, pay yourself first. Start a disciplined savings strategy as soon as you start earning money.

Bob: Mary Jo, we were just talking about this this morning, weren’t we? That college graduate gets out, they’re used to living on a thousand or 2,000 a month, and now they’re making four, 5,000 a month, and they forget to do this. They spend all that money. So start that disciplined savings strategy right off the bat when you’re in your 20s.

Mary Jo: So important. Before you get other obligations, before the kids come, before you start wanting to furnish that new home, you need to start a saving strategy. It’s the number one thing.

Bob: The last stage that we’re going to talk about, in 50s and 60s, later in the program today, you’re going to be very glad you did that. And next, take advantage of those employer-sponsored retirement plans that you may have right off the get go. Because time is so much on your side in your 20s. Let that power of tax deferred compounding work for you.

Bob: Delay or defer the payment of income tax on those earnings is a really good idea, because you’ve got that extra money that would normally go to taxes. Now it’s growing for you as an investment, so you’re earning interest on your interest, and even on those taxes that you would have paid. The earlier you start, the longer your money has to grow. That’s what we love to talk about this first life stage when you’re in your twenties.

Bob: And you say, “Well, I can’t contribute anything.” Well, just start with something. Even if it’s $25. You’re going to spend that just going out to eat, easily. So start small. You don’t have to start with $300 a month at this age. You can start with 25 or 50, and then increase it. And such a good idea to do it now, too, is because your employer matches your contributions, and at least put the amount and that you’re going to get a matchup too.

Bob: So you’re making 100% return on your money. Make a commitment to increase your contributions by at least one, five, or even 10% each year. Every time you get that raise or a promotion.

Mary Jo: Establish a safety net. In the event of a crisis, the money tree in the backyard, it could just be uprooted or disappear. Then what? So without an emergency fund, a crisis could be financially devastating. Consider how much you need to cover your expenses if your income was cut off for a period of time.

Mary Jo: Having an emergency fund eliminates the temptation to use credit card for short term cash shortfalls, or any kind of credit in that regard. Put aside a minimum of three months of living expenses in a savings account. As you age and your lifestyle expands, this amount should increase along with it.

Bob: Yeah, we’ll be talking a lot about those living expenses and that cash reserves as you get older and older. Last, while you’re in your 20s, and with every other age as well, manage that debt wisely. We emphasize that manage debt wisely, barring money for those large purchases, like financing a home or buying a car. Yeah, that’s expected, but don’t borrow money for other things.

Bob: Manage your lifestyle by relying on credit cards. It can be a slippery slope and get out of hand quickly, so be careful of those credit cards. It’s amazing what you can do in two or three weeks. It could take you two or three years to get out of it. Good debt management ensures that you will have credit when you need it, void that risk of being overextended. A good key point here to remember is to consider the cost of money. If you borrow money, it’s a good practice to periodically evaluate your debt situation and determine whether you can reduce that cost of debt.

Mary Jo: So some good practices, establish a best practice of paying cash, and when it comes to college, maybe consider paying as you go. Work and take fewer classes rather than taking out loans. That can be a tremendous burden upon graduation. You know the student loans we’re hearing so much about, those are crippling. So you want to do everything you can to avoid those.

Bob: It is amazing what we’re hearing about these college loans coming out. I agree with you so much on that statement you just made.

Mary Jo: Absolutely. Consider a trade school, if that’s a better fit, and there’s nothing wrong with a community college, either. Maybe do the first two years at community college and then move on. That’s much more economical and affordable. Then consider getting a job with an employer that might help with college costs. Walmart helps pay for college, so think about that, rather than go into debt yourself.

Bob: That’s something I didn’t know. That’s a great thing for them to do. So those are some things for that life stage of in your twenties, so now, let’s look at the 30s, because this is a time when so many today, they’re getting married, and they’re having children, and now what? You’re in your 30s.

Bob: Well, the first thing that we like to emphasize is that you really establish those basic life documents now that you’re in your 30s, and boy, do I see this a lot, that has not happened yet. In your 30s, you’re thinking, “It can’t happen to me,” but it can. When we’re young, we tend to think of ourselves as invincible.

Bob: Yet tragedy can strike at any time. We’ve seen this. I don’t like to talk about it, but it can. So this is the time to see an attorney, establish that will, and a healthcare directive, what we call living will, a medical power of attorney, a durable power of attorney for financial purposes, for you and your spouse.

Bob: And these are just the basic documents that everyone should have in place. Because if something were to happen to you, who has that power to intervene on your behalf in case of a medical emergency, as an example, or a financial emergency? So if you became incapacitated, who’s going to pay those bills and manage all those financial concerns if you can’t?

Bob: If you have young children, have you determined who should take care of them if something were to happen to you and your spouse? And this may be a worst case scenario, and it’s not a very likely event during your 30s, but it does happen, and I’ve seen that over the years, Mary Jo, and I know you have, too.

Bob: If you have young children, it’s so important that you choose a guardian and who you will have as that guardian while you’re alive. You can choose that instead of the state making that choice for you, and have it in a recorded, legally binding document.

Mary Jo: You think about that, the court would say it would probably go to your parents, but what if you don’t have a great relationship with your parents, and you’d rather a friend take over your children, or a sibling? So you make sure you choose, and don’t let the courts have to choose for you. So important.

Mary Jo: And you want to protect yourself and your family. The financial planning process involves establishing an adequate coverage for insurable risks, so consider the purchase of life insurance and disability insurance as your family grows and your financial responsibilities increase. This is so important.

Mary Jo: Your ability to earn money over the course of your life is what is known as your human capital. Life insurance and disability insurance can protect a young family from the loss of that human capital in case of your premature death or a disability of the primary income earner. It’s one of those critical financial foundation pieces that you need to have in place before you start worrying about an investment portfolio. These are things you need to do first.

Bob: And you know, Mary Jo, in this life stage of your 30s, it’s so inexpensive. It’s amazing to me how much life insurance you can get for dollars, less than you’ll go out to eat one time with your family, and you could take care of your family in the event of a premature death. And like I say, we don’t like to talk about this stuff, but we’ve seen it happen.

Mary Jo: We have, and it’s a horrible thought. I’m so passionate about this. I saw it happen just a few short years ago. Our next door neighbor, a young mom, walking her child to school one morning, just two blocks from our house, and a lady ran a stop sign and hit them both and killed the mom instantly. So it can happen in the blink of an eye. And like you said, we don’t like to talk about it, but we just really encourage our listeners to do these things first. They’re so important.

Bob: Mary Jo, that was in the news all across Texas. And I remember seeing that, and then realizing that was your next door neighbor. My goodness, what a small world it is. And in this life stage in your 30s, establish those financial goals and develop a good savings strategy. Because as you age, your financial life becomes so much more complex. And it’s a good idea to really sit down and ask yourself, “What is it I’m working for?”

Bob: In your 30s, it’s the time to establish those financial priorities. Do you want to retire at 55 and sell tacos on the beach, which may be a fun thing, or send your kids to an Ivy League college while you take an extended trip to the Maldives? So make that plan why you still have the flexibility to adapt your finances accordingly at this age.

Mary Jo: You know, Bob, the Maldives were the hot travel spot a few years ago, but now I understand it’s Como in Italy. So wherever you want to go, now’s the time to be thinking about that vision.

Bob: All my kids are taking those trips to Europe and staying in these airbnbs for 50 bucks a night, and they’re really going cheap, so I’m amazed. That’s not for me, though.

Mary Jo: No, me neither. I don’t go on the cheap. But another good thing to consider is fund a spousal IRA. If you’re married, and you’ve made the decision to have one of the parents work at home raising a family, then that is their job, and the employer, which is the family, should agree to put some additional funds away for that person’s retirement.

Mary Jo: Every adult should take responsibility for funding their own retirement. In a society where half of all marriages end in divorce, that’s another thing we don’t want to talk about, but it is the reality, this has become more and more important. It also provides a psychological boost and a lift to that individual self esteem. So it’s a win-win and something we should all consider.

Bob: I’ve always done this for Rachel. There’s a lot of things in that life stage, in your 30s, I know we covered a lot in there. So now, we’re going to go to those in their 40s, that fabulous 40, things are going good. You’re thinking, “Already? Wait, now how did I get to 40? Where did all that time go?”

Mary Jo: Don’t blink. It goes fast. So you’re more than likely entering your peak earning years. And this is a time to solidify your investment goals and map out a strategy to get you where you want to go. But you have to first think about that vision. Over time, your needs change, and it pays to periodically review your insurance needs, your coverages and your costs.

Mary Jo: So consider your health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or renter’s insurance, and your liability policies. Is it sufficient? Is it cost effective? Can you get more coverage for less money? So talk to your insurance agent, look for ways to save. You could be eligible for a safe driving discount, or maybe a bundled policy, if you keep everything with one carrier.

Mary Jo: And another way to save is to raise your deductible. If you have that emergency fund, then maybe you can live with a higher deductible. Again, consider consolidating your coverage with fewer carriers.

Bob: And you know, Mary Jo, I’d like to say something here, too, about this insurance review. Find somebody you can sit across the desk from, or around the table with, that really understands this. This is something hard, when you were talking about all those different insurances, the health, life, disability, auto, homeowners, renters, liability. That can get kind of mind boggling because there’s all those different policies. I like the independent agents that will sit down with you, because it’s hard to do this online. It’s just too much stuff.

Mary Jo: A couple of years back, I created a spreadsheet, and I put all these things in there so I could use it for myself, but also to help clients. I think it’s always a good idea, as you said, you want to talk to independent agents as well as some national change. As you’re doing these reviews, you want to compare policies with different carriers, consolidating everything with one carrier, but then also looking for that independent agent that can go anywhere. So important and a good point, Bob.

Bob: And you’re in your 40s, many times, those kids are getting older, and this is a good time in your 40s to have a talk with those loved ones about, maybe, your financial health and wellbeing, and hold some biweekly or even monthly financial meetings with them. And especially with your spouse, too. Open those lines of communication. Keep those financial lines of communication open.

Bob: Now, we know from experience, and I will tell you this and be transparent, that can get heated. So you’ve got to establish a time when you’re going to do that. You don’t just start off without any warning. I’ve learned that, at least in my case, and I have a feeling many others are the same way.

Bob: So make a commitment to review those financial priorities, your obligations, and the available resources to pay for them, and confirm that you’re in agreement with your spouse to establish some true financial ground rules. Be careful of letting emotions getting bobbed. Can you relate to that, Mary Jo?

Mary Jo: Oh, I sure can. So you know, it’s important to establish financial ground rules, but it’s also important to establish ground rules for these discussions so that it’s a safe space, that everybody can be heard and get their points of view out there. And if the emotions run high, take a break, pause, walk away, and come back, or agree to come back together at a different time.

Mary Jo: And instead of dismissing someone’s point of view, give it time to think about what they’re saying, so that you’re talking with a love language and not letting things get out of control, because that’s not productive.

Bob: And this may be where you need to bring a counselor in, if it does get out of control.

Mary Jo: But if you start with these biweekly vision setting, basically, my husband and I joke that everything in our marriage is a negotiation, but hey, we’ve made it 37 years. So maybe that’s not a bad way to go. But we negotiate everything. So you don’t win every battle. You have to accept that.

Bob: My wife always says, “Choose your battles wisely.”

Mary Jo: Yes. So you come to a compromise, come to agreement. And then, the rest of it begins to take care of itself. You know what each other’s thinking, and then you don’t have to have these ongoing battles.

Bob: So I know you’ve got another really good financial tip at this life stage, in your 40s, that you need to think about.

Mary Jo: Absolutely. So you want to know your parents’ wishes. So when it comes to money, it’s also important to establish these open lines of communication, with our spouses, with our kids, but also with our parents. In so many households, that money topic, it’s taboo, and you don’t want to talk about it. But that’s old school. I just think it’s so healthy to know what everybody’s thinking. Then there are no secrets.

Mary Jo: Well, if something happens to your parents, you know what’s on their hearts and you know how to proceed. So in our 40s, we often begin to notice signs of aging in our parents. Here, we find out what their wishes are, what resources they have available, maybe what planning they already have in place. If they haven’t shared that with you, you need to ask them. So don’t wait until it’s too late. When it’s a time of crisis, things are stressful already. I always say, “Plan today for the uncertainties of tomorrow.”

Bob: That is true. That’s the number one reason for financial failure, procrastination, and you don’t want to wait on that one. And in your 40s, like we said, talk to your spouse and your children, and I want to emphasize a little bit more about your children, because this is a really good time to teach them budgeting, because I’ll tell you, they’re not getting it in school. So engage those kids. Yeah, you want to say something right in there. You joined right in.

Mary Jo: It’s not in the curriculum, and they’re not learning this in school. They don’t even bring out a checkbook ledger anymore.

Bob: While your kids are young, you can help them with that decision making process when it comes to finances, and when appropriate, give them a chance to establish their own priorities, and ask them a question like, “Hey, is it going to make more sense for the family to save for college for you, or take that annual trip to the beach?” I have a feeling that kids are going to say, “Let’s go to the beach.”

Bob: But you can ask the question, and get them to thinking about it. And this provides a really good opportunity to teach them about money management and the shared responsibility and consequences of those decisions that are made today, and how it’s gonna affect life in the future. Those are good life lessons.

Mary Jo: You know, Bob, we have that tool that’s available that we’ve done on a previous podcast. There are four uses of money. Live, owe, grow.

Bob: [inaudible 00:00:20:59]. Live, give, owe, grow.

Mary Jo: Owe and grow. That’s right.

Bob: That’s the only four uses of it.

Mary Jo: That’s right. So let your kids understand that. What a teaching moment that would be. You also need to review your retirement saving strategies. Are you saving enough? I always say, “You can’t invest your way to retirement. You have to save your way to retirement.” So know what those numbers are and what is your strategy to get there.

Mary Jo: So this is a great time to establish a relationship with a financial planner to ensure you’re on track to meet your retirement savings needs. And if you’re falling short of your goal, then you still have time to react and make changes. Then you can start to reprioritize.

Mary Jo: You don’t have to have $1 million to work with a financial planner. A lot of them, such as myself, and at Christian Financial Advisors, we’re on a fee base, and we can do hourly consultations if that’s all you need. And we encourage you to think about that.

Bob: I want to say one of those things, I’m going to try to say it right, Mary Jo. You said you can’t invest your way to retirement. You have to save your way to retirement. And that’s so different than what we hear in the world today.

Mary Jo: It is.

Bob: You know, go take that high risk, and you can just invest your way to it. But biblical wisdom really is about that, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” Proverbs 13:11, one of my favorites. And I’ve really emphasized that to our children and in my own life. And it works. And I know it’s worked for you and Mike as well.

Mary Jo: Absolutely. It gives you choices.

Bob: And I’ve seen it work for so many. The millionaire next door is, little by little, they’ve saved their way to retirement. And build that solid portfolio, diversify across the complete tax code. So important in your 40s. Your high income bracket, some of your peak earning years, of course, 50s can get a little bit higher there, too, but contribute the max you can to that 401k, maybe even consider funding a Roth IRA, if you’re eligible.

Bob: So if you’re not eligible for a Roth, contribute to a non-deductible IRA, because you’re still going to get the tax deferred growth. And in retirement, there are advantages to having savings, and all these different kinds of accounts from the Roth to the regular IRA, 401k savings plans. You want to have many different types of programs for those different life stages that have different tax advantages to them.

Mary Jo: Absolutely. Good idea, Bob. Don’t forget those after tax savings, those brokerage accounts. You need some money there as well. And we want to consider the cost. Cost matters. Be sure you’re getting what you pay for. It’s okay to pay a fee for expert investment advise. Most people don’t have the time, they don’t have the expertise or the desire to manage it themselves.

Mary Jo: So a hire a financial professional to help you and your family develop a plan for creating a solid financial future. And if you’re not comfortable with your investment professional, maybe it’s time to consider making a change. It’s important to build a solid relationship with somebody that you trust. And it’s true for both spouses. So if you’re a husband and wife, are both of you comfortable with the advisor?

Mary Jo: Now, I’m going to take this minute to encourage you. If you don’t go with your spouse to these meetings, start now. You need to develop a relationship, and you need to ask your questions. No question is a dumb question. What’s really dumb is not taking an interest. You don’t have to know how the clock works, but you need to know the moving pieces and parts.

Mary Jo: Even if you don’t have sufficient assets to warrant an ongoing relationship, as we talked about earlier, find someone who will work with you for an hourly fee, or even do a one-time financial plan. It’s much more affordable than you might think, and it’s also a small price to pay if you find a need to change course and to reevaluate your saving strategies.

Bob: And Mary Jo, while you were sitting here saying all this, I was thinking to myself, too, really look for the word fiduciary. You want to look for an advisor that’s a fiduciary. They’re putting your best interests before theirs. So be careful of a commission-based advisor that can create a conflict of interests.

Mary Jo: That’s right, Bob.

Bob: So now, Mary Jo, we’ve gone through our 20s and 30s and 40s. Let’s get into this next phase. You’re 50, and you’re freaked out. That’s what happened.

Mary Jo: This makes me laugh.

Bob: What do I do at this … I’m already 50. What do I do during this phase? Well, one of the things that we talked about earlier was building those cash reserves in your 50s. It’s important to build more of those cash reserves, because, as your age increases, and your income increases, you should extend that emergency fund to a minimum of six months, and even, ideally, a whole year.

Bob: I know that sounds like a long time, but take it from somebody who had that established a couple years ago, and I do, again, when my wife came down with cancer, we were so glad that we had those strong cash reserves of about a year aside, because we needed about three or four months of those while we dealt with this, and praise the Lord, now everything’s fine, and Rachel is doing great.

Bob: But the more you make and the older you are, the more you can expect possibly have an unforeseen job loss, or a major critical illness come along. And I’ll tell you, age discrimination can be a real thing in today’s job market. So it’s so important to build large cash reserves during your 50s, and 60s, and 70s, and beyond.

Mary Jo: So true, Bob. You want to think about, how secure is your job? We just visiting with some old friends, and they shared with us that he had gotten laid off, and was out of a job, and was looking for the better part of a year, and they came really close to losing their house. We knew it was bad, I didn’t know it was that bad, but it can happen to anybody.

Mary Jo: Be thinking about your job, how secure is it? If you’re the primary source of income, you want to really give that serious thought. So what’s the industry that you’re in? What’s the volatility of that industry? The financial health of the company that you’re in, the competitive environment, and your job level? If you lost your job today, how difficult would it be to replace your current income?

Mary Jo: So consider this. There’s a whole lot more sales opportunities than there are opportunities for an executive vice president of human resources. So where do you fit in, and how many of similar jobs are there out on the market? Be thinking about that, and maybe you want to reevaluate where you are and how popular your world is.

Bob: And while you’re in the 50s, this is the time, while you are still employed and have a good job, to catch up on those retirement plans, because you get those catch up contribution provisions. At age 50, you can contribute an additional $6,000 to an IRA, or a Roth IRA, as well as your 401k, they had those catch up provisions. So it’s a great way to catch up if you’re behind in those savings goals, because you didn’t start in your 20s or 30s.

Bob: Hopefully you start into your 50s. Occasionally, I’ll meet somebody that comes in and they’re trying to start in their 50s.

Mary Jo: Whoa.

Bob: That’s really, really difficult to say that you’re ever going to be able to retire if you start that late, but you can. You still can. It’s just going to push that retirement up more like into the mid-70s, if you wait until you’re in your 50s to start.

Mary Jo: As we continue to talk about the 50s, and that life stage, this is a sweet spot for considering your longterm care costs. Can we afford longevity? Now, that’s just a big question. We’re enjoying longer, healthier lifespans, but at what cost? If you could design your own plan and strategy for your end of life care, what would it look like?

Mary Jo: Are you all set and can easily afford to self insure against the rising cost of longterm care? If not, then what? What else are you going to do? What are the alternatives? The sweet spot, as I mentioned, for purchasing longterm care insurance, it’s in your early 50s. So now is the time to establish that plan.

Mary Jo: And if you’re considering some hedge against the rising cost of healthcare, and we know it’s only gonna go up and up and up, so we really encourage that. Now is the time to think about that and take some action.

Bob: And as long as you and I, Mary Jo, have been in this financial planning business, we have seen longterm care costs skyrocket. So, you’re right, it’s the time to consider it. This age is a really sweet spot, and I know we did an entire podcast on that that you can go back and listen to, about longterm care.

Mary Jo: You want to think about it before those diseases that we all want to avoid set in. Before you need back surgery and you get cancer and all these other things. That’s why the 50s is the sweet spot. We’re still relatively healthy.

Bob: So we have one more thing in the 50s, at this life stage, and then we’ll get onto the 60s. You still have a lot of living left to do at this age, but it’s a good idea to start doing some real planning. Consider what your retirement dream is, what you want that next phase of your life to look like.

Bob: Is it time to consider traveling more? Do you want to leave that corporate world behind and start a nonprofit organization? When do you want to retire? Can you do it in your 50s, or do you need to wait till your 60s? How much income are you going to need to maintain and sustain your desired lifestyle? So, these are all the things that we need to look at during that stage of the 50s, which takes us to the next stage and beyond. And which one is that, Mary Jo?

Mary Jo: You’re 60, sagging, and loving life.

Bob: Say that one more time. That’s too funny.

Mary Jo: 60, sagging, and loving life.

Bob: Goodness.

Mary Jo: Gravity’s not your friend in your 60s, not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

Bob: Okay.

Mary Jo: So finally, the kids are out of the house, and it’s time to travel. You also want to think about planning for inflation. When you think about that next chapter in your life, be sure to give adequate consideration to rising cost, the rising cost of everything, and especially, as we mentioned earlier, the rising cost of healthcare in retirement. Plan for inflation and make sure you’re putting that into your planning process.

Bob: And this is the time in this life stage to create that income stream. Now that you’ve saved for all these years, we have a challenge, and it’s facing many retirees, is, how do you take those available resources that you’ve been saving and accumulating and create a stream of income that you can’t outlive?

Bob: This is the time to put a plan in place for replacing that weekly paycheck that you counted on for all those working years, and determining what is a sustainable withdrawal amount, and being conservative, and avoid dipping into that principle, if possible.

Mary Jo: We talk a lot about retirement, but this is also a time to think about reinventing yourself. You may want to think about that next chapter, so consider possible ways you can delay taking your social security. They say they never stop working, but hopefully you get to a point where you choose to work, but it’s a job we love for a cause that fuels our passions and brings us joy.

Mary Jo: Many seniors are continuing to work past the traditional retirement age of 65, and many have to, but also, many are choosing to, and that’s the beauty of it. When you have savings and you have a plan, you can work if you choose to, but you’re not forced to because you have to.

Bob: I am seeing this so many times, too, our retirees, and they’re going back into the workforce, but like you say, it’s something they really love to do. They’re going in at part time, and most of them are working out of their home, I’ve noticed, as consultants.

Bob: So another thing in your 60s is, this is the time to develop that strategy for when to take that social security. I’m a big believer now in waiting longer if you can, if you’re not going to have to deplete your investment portfolio, wait to take that social security. Because you get paid raises of around 8% all the way up until age 70, also by waiting.

Bob: So let’s take myself as an example. We’ve got myself and my wife, Rachel. If I wait to take social security longer, and then something happens to me, then she’s going to get a higher amount, because I waited. That’s so important. So if you’re healthy and expecting a long lifespan, your parents are still alive in their 90s, really consider waiting, because it’s a good idea.

Mary Jo: Absolutely, Bob. So important for women to think about this. And no matter what stage of life you’re in, we recommend that everyone develop a relationship with a trusted financial advisor. Having a solid financial plan in place can help you weather the storms of life without putting your financial future at risk. Plan today for the uncertainties of tomorrow.

Bob: And as we come to the end of the day’s podcast on the Financial Tips For Every Stage Of Life, we want you to know that, at Christian Financial Advisors, we’re equipped and we’re experienced to help you during many of these life stages, especially during your 50s and beyond.

Bob: Give us a call if you have investible assets of at least 250,000 or more, or you’re looking for financial planning services that may include ongoing financial planning advice, or our hourly consultation services. You can reach us at 830-609-6986, or visit us on the web at



You’re listening to Christian Financial Perspectives. Join us next week as we explore what God’s word says about money. Don’t forget, you can sign up for our free newsletter on or give us a call at 877-71-TRUTH. That’s 877-718-7884. To make sure that you don’t miss any of our podcasts regarding the truth about money, make sure to subscribe to Christian Financial Perspectives at for free. If there are any specific topics you would like to hear more about, we would love to hear from you.

That’s all for now, until next week!


Comments from today’s show are for informational purposes only and not to be considered investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any company that may have been mentioned or discussed. The opinions expressed are solely those of the hosts, Bob Barber and Mary Jo Lyons. Bob and Mary Jo do not provide tax advice and encourage you to seek guidance from a tax professional. Investment advisory services offered through Christian Investment Advisors Inc. DBA Christian Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.