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3 Foolproof Ways to Build Wealth in Your 40s

Building wealth takes time. Your approach will depend in part on the stage of life you’re in. The way you handle your money as a 40-something is likely a bit different than the way you managed your finances in your 20s and your 30s. If retiring rich is your ultimate goal, here are three ways to work toward making that happen as you hit your midlife stride.

Find out now: How much do I need to save for retirement?

1. Get Life Insurance

Saving as much money as you can in a retirement account or taxable investment account won’t do much good if your loved ones are forced to spend the money down prematurely. If you died without life insurance, your spouse or other family members would have to use your assets to cover your burial expenses or pay off debts instead of holding on to those assets for their own retirement.

Buying a life insurance policy can ensure that the money you’ve been setting aside for retirement can be used for its intended purpose. Term life coverage is typically the most affordable option for 40-somethings, but a whole life policy lets you build cash value. If you’re considering a whole life policy, it’s a good idea to consider how the potential return on your investment compares to the higher premium costs.

2. Develop Passive Income Streams

3 Foolproof Ways to Build Wealth in Your 40s

Boosting your income in your 40s is a smart move because you’ll have that much more money to direct towards your retirement and investment accounts. Asking for a raise or changing careers are two ways to increase your earnings, but you’ll only see a benefit for as long as you’re working. Creating passive income streams can keep the cash flowing long after you’ve retired.

Passive income streams are projects that require an initial investment of time or money but continuously pay out. For example, purchasing a rental property can yield an ongoing profit in the form of monthly rent payments from tenants. Investing in dividend stocks is another option for receiving regular payouts without much effort.

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The type of passive income stream you choose ultimately depends on how much time and money you can afford to put into it upfront. The greater your passive income, the less strain you’ll have to put on your nest egg when it’s time to retire.

3. Scale Down Your Spending

By the time you reach your 40s, you’re likely earning more than you ever have before. But it’s best to avoid letting those larger paychecks go to your head. While it may be tempting to upgrade to a bigger home, buy new cars or splurge on fancy vacations, this could be a good time to begin taking a step back in terms of spending.

Why? Because every dollar you can save in your 40s translates to more spending power you’ll have in retirement. Saving in your 40s is particularly important if you waited to start saving. By keeping your spending in check and saving more, you can minimize the odds of having your nest egg fall short after you retire.

Related Article: 5 Retirement Planning Moves for Late Starters

If you’re still dealing with debt at this point, it might be wise to make eliminating those payments a top priority. Refinancing your mortgage or student loans or consolidating high-interest credit card debt might help speed up the payment process so you’re spending less each month.

The Takeaway

3 Foolproof Ways to Build Wealth in Your 40s

Once you turn 40, you might feel as though you have a lot less time left to prepare for retirement. That’s why it’s important to take action and be proactive about saving. Covering your insurance needs, streamlining your expenses and looking for alternate ways to generate income can put you on the right track for your 40s and beyond.

This might also be a good time to start working with a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help you stay on track for retirement and make the right investment decisions for your financial situation. A matching tool like SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor can help you find a person to work with to meet your needs. First you’ll answer a series of questions about your situation and goals. Then the program will narrow down your options from thousands of advisors to three fiduciaries who suit your needs. You can then read their profiles to learn more about them, interview them on the phone or in person and choose who to work with in the future. This allows you to find a good fit while the program does much of the hard work for you.

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Rebecca Lake Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investing and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her expertise in the finance niche also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small business. She's worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG and her writing has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, and Investopedia. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and she also attended Charleston Southern University as a graduate student. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast along with her two children.
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