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How to Retire at 60: Tips and Strategies

How to Retire at 60: Tips and Strategies

Posted on August 15, 2023
Writer: James Miller

Retirement planning is a big part of financial well-being, and most people want it sorted out by the time they turn 60. This age presents a balance between stepping away from the workforce and having ample time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

However, retiring at 60 requires careful thought and strategic decision-making. In this article, we will explore practical tips and effective strategies on how to retire at 60. By following these guidelines, you will learn how to retire at 60 and set yourself on a path toward a comfortable and fulfilling retirement.

Start Saving Early

Retiring at 60 is a common aspiration for many individuals, and a key aspect of achieving this goal is understanding how much money you need to save for a comfortable retirement. Early planning and saving can greatly influence your financial security in your later years.

Individual submitting retirement plan information on tablet

To maximize the chances of retiring at 60, start saving for retirement as early as possible, ideally from the beginning of one’s career.

How Much Money to Save for Retirement at 60?

A commonly recommended guideline is the “80% rule.” This rule suggests that, for financial stability in retirement, you should aim to have a retirement income that’s approximately 80% of what you earned annually before retiring. So, if you had an annual income of $60,000 before retiring, you should aim for a retirement income of about $48,000 each year.

To estimate your retirement savings goal, assess your desired retirement lifestyle, expected expenses, and potential additional income sources like Social Security or pensions.

To achieve a financially secure retirement, diversify your income sources by relying on Social Security, pensions (if available), and personal savings. Social Security provides a monthly income based on your earnings history and retirement age, while pensions offer employer-sponsored plans for eligible employees. Building personal savings through various retirement accounts and investments can also create a financial cushion.

The Benefits of Using Retirement Accounts

When planning for retirement, utilizing retirement accounts can offer advantages in growing your savings. These specialized accounts provide tax advantages and a range of investment options tailored to long-term growth. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using retirement accounts.

Tax Advantages

Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, offer tax advantages that can boost your savings. Traditional 401(k)s and IRAs allow contributions to be made with pre-tax income, reducing your current taxable income. This means you can save on taxes now and let your contributions grow tax-deferred until retirement. On the other hand, Roth 401(k)s and Roth IRAs offer tax-free withdrawals in retirement, as contributions are made with after-tax income.

Employer Matching

Many employers offer matching contributions to retirement accounts, often through 401(k) plans. This means that for every dollar you contribute, your employer will contribute a certain percentage up to a specified limit. Taking advantage of employer matching can greatly benefit your retirement savings as it allows your money to grow faster and potentially provides a substantial boost to your overall account balance.


Diversify your retirement accounts by investing in a variety of asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and index funds. This helps manage risk, potentially increases long-term returns, and protects your savings from market volatility while offering growth potential.

Catch-up Contributions

Take advantage of catch-up contributions if you’re approaching retirement age and feel behind on your savings. Once you reach age 50, you become eligible to contribute additional funds to your retirement accounts beyond the regular annual limits. For example, in 2023, individuals aged 50 or older can contribute an extra $22,500 to their 401(k) plans. This can help you accelerate your savings in the years leading up to retirement and make up for any previous shortfall.

Retirement Investment Options

When it comes to planning for retirement, consider several investment options.

Stacked gold bars and $100 bills

Exploring different types of investments, such as precious metals, stocks, and real estate, can help you tailor your strategy to meet your retirement goals.

Invest in Precious Metals

Investing in precious metals, such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, can hedge against inflation and provide portfolio diversification. Precious metals retain their value over time, serving as a store of wealth. For individuals wondering how to retire at 60, precious metals offer the following benefits:

Preservation of Value

Unlike other investment options, precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum have consistently held their value throughout various market conditions. To illustrate, at the start of the 2008 recession, the price of gold surged by roughly 50% within nine months. This makes them a reliable and steady asset as you plan your retirement, mitigating the risks of inflation and currency devaluation.

Strengthening Your Portfolio

Including precious metals in your retirement investment strategy adds a unique layer of diversification. Unlike stocks and bonds, the value of precious metals often moves independently of other financial markets, which can provide stability to your portfolio in times of market volatility. During times of recession, the stock and bond markets typically experience a decline known as a bear market, resulting in a significant decrease in their values.

However, gold starkly contrasts this trend due to its intrinsic worth and widespread acceptance. It tends to retain its value or even appreciate during such challenging economic periods. As a result of this stability, investors often seek refuge in gold as a haven during turbulent times.

The Advantage of Precious Metals IRAs

Precious Metals Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) allow you to invest in physical precious metals. They work like traditional IRAs but are backed by physical assets. These IRAs are not only tax-advantaged, meaning they have the potential to grow tax-free but also provide direct ownership of a tangible and valuable commodity.

Invest in Stocks

Investing in stocks offers the potential for long-term capital appreciation and can effectively diversify your investment portfolio. By owning shares in publicly traded companies, you can benefit from their growth and profitability over time. For individuals looking to retire at 60 with no money, stocks offer:

  • Growth Potential: Stocks stand out as a retirement investment option due to their potential for significant long-term growth. Historically, stocks have provided higher returns than other assets, helping your retirement savings grow more rapidly.
  • Passive Income through Dividends: Some companies distribute a portion of their profits to shareholders through dividends. This feature of stock investments can serve as an extra source of income, complementing your regular earnings or retirement benefits. Moreover, you can reinvest these dividends, buying more shares, which can further boost the growth of your investment over time.
  • Tax Efficiency with Retirement Accounts: Stock investments become even more attractive when held in tax-advantaged retirement accounts like IRAs or 401(k)s. Depending on the account type, you can benefit from tax deductions on contributions, tax-free growth, or tax-free withdrawals in retirement. These tax benefits can significantly enhance your returns and help you meet your retirement savings goals more efficiently.

Invest in Bonds

Bonds, such as treasury bonds, municipal bonds, and corporate bonds, offer stability and fixed-income payments, making them suitable for a conservative retirement portfolio.

Close up on U.S. bonds

For individuals planning retirement at 60, bonds are appealing for the following reasons:

  • Steady Income Stream: Bonds are essentially loans you give to governments or corporations. In return, they promise to pay back your initial investment, also known as the principal, along with regular interest payments. This reliable stream of income is one of the primary reasons why bonds are an attractive retirement investment option, particularly for those targeting retirement at age 60.
  • Reduced Risk and Stability: Bonds, especially government bonds, are generally considered less risky than other investments such as stocks. Notably, U.S. Treasury Bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, making them one of the safest investments around. As you approach your retirement, having a portion of your portfolio in these stable, reliable assets can protect your savings from abrupt market fluctuations, providing peace of mind.
  • Protection Against Inflation: Some bonds, like Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), are designed to help protect your savings from inflation. Here’s how they work: If inflation increases, the value of these bonds increases too. As the principal increases, the interest payments you receive also rise. This feature can be especially useful for those planning to retire at 60, as it helps ensure your retirement savings keep up with the cost of living.

Invest in Real Estate

Among the various investment avenues available, real estate stands out due to its tangible nature and income potential. Real estate investments aren’t just limited to buying a rental property. They span a broad spectrum, from commercial properties and residential rentals to real estate investment trusts (REITs) and even real estate crowdfunding platforms. For individuals looking to retire at 60, real estate investments offer the following:

  • Steady Cash Flow: Real estate investments, particularly rental properties, can provide a reliable stream of income. This steady cash flow can be particularly advantageous during your retirement years, helping to cover your living expenses and supplementing other retirement income sources.
  • Appreciation Potential: Real estate typically increases in value over time. This means that when you’re ready to sell your property, you might fetch a price significantly higher than your initial investment. This potential for appreciation can provide a considerable boost to your retirement savings, making real estate a compelling investment option for those aiming to retire comfortably at 60.
  • Control Over Investment: Unlike stocks or bonds, real estate is a tangible asset that gives you more control. You can make improvements to the property to increase its value or change the rental fees according to market conditions. This hands-on approach can be appealing to many investors and potentially lead to greater investment returns.

FAQ on Retiring at 60

When it comes to retiring at 60, people naturally have questions. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked retirement questions. Let’s take a look.

Can You Retire at 60 and Get Social Security?

Retiring at 60 allows you to receive Social Security benefits, but eligibility extends beyond age. Other factors and requirements can impact eligibility, such as certain occupations or insufficient work credits. Review criteria and consult resources like the Social Security Administration or financial advisors to understand your specific eligibility. Starting benefits before the full retirement age can result in a permanent reduction in monthly benefits.

What Happens if You Retire at 60 Instead of 65?

If you retire at 60 instead of 65, you will have a shorter time to save for retirement and may have a lower overall retirement income. As a result, you may need to rely on your savings and investments for longer.

Can I Retire at 60 and Still Work Full-Time?

Yes, you can retire at 60 and still work full-time if you choose to do so. Retirement does not necessarily mean complete withdrawal from the workforce. Many individuals choose to continue working either for financial reasons or personal fulfillment.

If you retire and continue working full-time, your eligibility for full or partial Social Security benefits may be affected. In many cases, individuals may not receive Social Security benefits in full or at all if they continue working full-time. It is recommended to consult with a financial advisor or the Social Security Administration to understand the specific impact on your retirement benefits based on your circumstances.

What Are the Disadvantages of Retiring at 60?

Retiring at 60 may have some potential disadvantages to consider:

  1. Reduced Social Security Benefits: Retiring at 60 can lead to a permanent reduction in Social Security benefits compared to waiting until full retirement age (typically between 66 and 67), resulting in a decrease of around 25% to 30%, depending on your age.
  2. Limited Time for Savings: Choosing to retire at 60 means having fewer years to save and accumulate funds for retirement, putting additional pressure on existing savings and investments to support a potentially longer retirement period.

Health Insurance Coverage: Retiring before reaching Medicare eligibility at 65 may require finding alternative health insurance coverage, which can be challenging and may require purchasing private insurance.

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