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Ask an Advisor: ‘Am I Too Late?’ I’m 68, Have No Investments and Only Have $60K Saved


At 68, I do not have any investments of any kind. My $80,000 condo is paid off, and I have $60,000 saved. Am I too late?


It’s never too late to start investing and managing your money. But I don’t want to sugarcoat it. If you’re planning to invest for retirement, getting the ball rolling in your late 60s certainly limits your options. So, let’s discuss some of your choices. (If you have additional questions about investing or retirement, this tool can help match you with potential advisors.)

Consider Alternate Forms of Income

Ask an Advisor: 'Am I Too Late?' I'm 68, Have No Investments and Only Have $60K Saved

With limited savings, you likely can’t afford to ignore Social Security benefits and other sources of income. If you haven’t tapped your Social Security benefit yet, keep in mind that waiting until 70 will maximize the benefit you receive.

It’s also worth exploring other ways to maintain income into your golden years. Can you continue working in your current position, find part-time employment or consult on the side?

Delaying full retirement will increase your cash flow in the near term, allow you to plan for a shorter retirement period and perhaps give you room to save and invest. (If you have additional questions about maximizing retirement income, this tool can help match you with potential advisors.)

Paying off Your Home Is Great, But Consider Other Expense Reductions

Ask an Advisor: 'Am I Too Late?' I'm 68, Have No Investments and Only Have $60K Saved

The fact that you outright own your $80,000 condo is commendable. And depending on your location, there may not be many other properties in a lower price tier. So, you may have limited options for downsizing or finding less expensive housing.

But consider other moves you can make to reduce expenses when it comes to transportation, travel, food and other costs. With minimal savings, you’ll need to keep a careful eye on spending.

Determine Appropriate Asset Allocation

If you plan to have your $60,000 last decades into retirement, it’s worth evaluating an appropriate investment balance that allows for both short-term liquidity, medium-term time horizons and long-term growth. Keeping 100% of your money in cash typically doesn’t allow it to keep up with inflation and it causes your nest egg to lose value over time.

Working with a financial advisor may help you build a portfolio and project out retirement spending and income needs into the future. A holistic advisor may also be able to help you work through the tax repercussions of your income and retirement projections.

Depending on your financial situation, consider whether you’re eligible for a financial advisor or even pro bono financial help from a source such as the Financial Planning Association. (If you have additional questions about investing or retirement, this tool can help match you with potential advisors.)

Next Steps

It’s never too late to start investing, but starting in your late 60s will impact the options you have. Consider Social Security strategies, income sources and appropriate asset allocation. A financial advisor may be able to help you project out your investment and income plan into the coming decades.

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

  • Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Consider a few advisors before settling on one. It’s important to make sure you find someone you trust to manage your money. As you consider your options, these are the questions you should ask an advisor to ensure you make the right choice.

Susannah Snider, CFP® is SmartAsset’s financial planning columnist and answers reader questions on personal finance topics. Got a question you’d like answered? Email and your question may be answered in a future column.

Please note that Susannah is not a participant in the SmartAdvisor Match platform and is an employee of SmartAsset.

Photo credit: ©Jen Barker Worley, ©iStockPhoto/Moon Safari, ©iStockPhoto/Milan Markovic