With the cost of living being high, saving for retirement can be challenging. As such, many people may find themselves with little or no retirement nest egg by the time they reach 50.
Clearly, it is better to start planning for retirement at a relatively young age. It allows compounding to have a positive impact on a portfolio’s performance, and can mean that even modest amounts of money add up to an early retirement.
However, those same forces can still have a significant impact on a retirement portfolio over a period of a decade. Therefore, investing in shares from the age of 50 could be a means of bringing your retirement a step closer, with there being numerous opportunities to build a portfolio that can outperform the wider stock market at the present time.
Starting to invest at age 50 means that most people will have a long(ish)-term timeframe. In other words, they have 10 or more years until they plan to retire. This means that they are likely to have sufficient time for periods of disappointing performance to recover. In other words, they may be able to take risks in the knowledge that there is a good chance their investments will recover from short-term challenges, such as a bear market.
Clearly, risk tolerance is highly subjective. What works for one person may not be suitable for another. However, investing in the stock market could prove to be a sound move over a long period, since it has historically posted higher annualised returns than other mainstream asset classes such as bonds and cash. Therefore, it may be able to provide a greater overall return on a relative basis that has a greater impact on when you retire.
Beating the performance of the stock market is not an easy task, but there are numerous opportunities available today that could increase your chances of doing so. The stock market itself appears to offer a wide margin of safety, with the FTSE 100 having a yield of 4.6% at the present time and the FTSE 250 yielding 3.2%. Both of these figures are relatively high compared to their historic levels, which suggests that there is scope to purchase companies while they trade at discounts to their intrinsic values.
Furthermore, the prospects for the global economy are relatively upbeat. Certainly, short-term challenges may persist, and this could lead to volatility in share prices over the coming months. But with major world economies such as the US and China offering high growth rates over the coming decade, there may be scope to benefit from the growth rate of the international economy through FTSE 350 shares.
Investing your excess capital in shares for the long run could be a sound move. It may enable you to generate a high return over the next 10+ years that ultimately boosts your financial prospects and brings your retirement date a step closer.
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Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.