Investing for Retirement at 50: A Quick Guide

The allocation of your investments is bound to change at every stage of your life to reflect your financial objectives, responsibilities, lifestyle, and experience. The best investments for 50-year-olds are those that can help them reach their retirement goals while also minimizing risk. As you get closer to retirement, you need to start thinking about how you will generate income to support yourself. This means investing in assets that can provide a steady stream of income. If you haven’t had investment plans in earlier years, it is still possible to start planning your investments at 50 years.

Tips for Investing in Your 50s

Investment strategies and tactics differ for everyone because everyone has different financial goals. The following are some tips to help you get started investing in your golden years.

  • Make a Plan: Planning for your investments helps you create a budget and financial target. It gives you a road map that will help you deal with challenges and reach your goals.
  • Stay with Stocks: Although stocks are risky investments, they can guarantee high returns.
  • Reduce your Spending: If you want to have a secure future with your finances, spend less and invest more.
  • Diversify your Investment Portfolio: Holding a single type of investment may hurt your returns in the long-term in case that investment suffers losses. To avoid this, spread the risk by choosing the right mix of asset classes (Read: Diversified portfolio in asset management).
  • Rebalance your Investment Portfolio: It is best to check your portfolio from time to time to see if it is growing towards your target. If not, consider adjusting your portfolio to make sure your portfolio has the right asset allocation for 50-year-old.
  • Focus on income-generating bonds: Once you retire, you will need to generate income from your investments to cover your living expenses. This means investing in bonds that pay interest, such as government bonds and quality corporate bonds.
  • Consider using tax-advantaged accounts: There are a number of tax-advantaged accounts available to investors, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and HSAs. These accounts can help you save money on taxes.

Best Investment Portfolio for 50-Year-Olds

At 50, your investment strategy needs to focus on preserving wealth and creating multiple sources of income for retirement. At this point, the right asset allocation gives you a better chance of realizing high returns. To achieve this, it is best to diversify your investment portfolio. An example of a diversified investment portfolio includes a combination of different investments such as stocks, bonds, gold, mutual funds, real estate, index funds, cryptocurrencies, CDs, and other investments. This diversity aims to reduce your overall investment risk. When it comes to choosing your investment portfolio, there is no one-size-fits all. However, you can choose a combination of the following investments.


The common rule of thumb states that individuals should hold a percentage of stocks equal to 100 or 110 minus their age. However, the percentage you choose to invest in any asset class will depend on your financial needs. Some studies say that you can achieve optimal diversification with 15 to 20 stocks spread across various industries.

You can hold stocks from different high-quality sectors. Best stocks for 50-year-olds include energy stocks, airline stocks, healthcare stocks, railway stocks, and technology stocks. Also, you can consider large-cap stocks, small-cap stocks, growth stocks, value stocks, international stock funds, and dividend stocks, which can provide a steady income stream to cover your living expenses.

Specific stocks, which can be particularly appealing for those nearing retirement, include Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG), Walmart (WMT), Microsoft (MSFT), and Wells Fargo (WFC).


Being fixed income assets, bonds will earn you interest at regular intervals until they reach maturity. Bonds are believed to be the safest investments for retirement compared to stocks because in the case of bankruptcy, corporations are required to first pay back bond investors before paying stock investors. You can diversify your bond holdings by investing in bond funds, or you can vary your holdings across bond maturities, types, and sectors. Bonds have the potential to stabilize a diversified investment portfolio because certain bond types can be very stable when the stock market declines. How much you allocate toward bonds in your portfolio will depend on your financial goals and preference for risk. Our Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Bonds will be of a great help to you.

Some specific bonds that may be suitable for a 50-year-old include: U.S. Treasury bonds, municipal bonds, corporate bonds, government-backed bonds, and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS).

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are passive investment instruments that pool money from many investors and investing in a collection of different assets. Mutual funds naturally diversify an investment portfolio, making them ideal for 50-year-olds. The four main types of mutual funds are Equity Funds, Money Market Funds, Bond Funds, and Balanced Funds. Find out everything you need to know about investing in mutual funds.

Several mutual funds are potentially well-suited for individuals in their fifties, such as the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (BND), Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTI), Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth Fund (VSCGX), and Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG). These are just a few of mutual funds considered favorable options for those in their 50s.

Cash and Gold

Cash is an ideal investment because it does not lose value like stocks and bonds. You can diversify your cash holdings by putting some of it in a liquid savings account and the rest of it in a less-liquid certificate of deposit to maximize your liquidity and interest earnings. It is recommended that you hold your cash in separate banks.

Gold is a scarce, highly liquid asset that carries no counterparty risk. As such, adding it to your investment portfolio at 50 helps in diversification and risk reduction. Holding between 2% to 10% of your portfolio in gold maximizes your investment returns. You can invest in gold in many forms including gold bullion, Gold Coins, Gold ETFs and Gold Mutual Funds, and Gold Futures.

Real Estate

Real estate can be a good investment for 50 year olds who are looking to increase their portfolio’s total returns and reduce overall volatility. One way to invest in real estate is through Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). REITs are companies that own and operate income-producing real estate, such as apartment buildings, shopping malls, and office buildings. REITs are traded on stock exchanges, so you can invest in them just like any other stock.

Studies have shown that an investment portfolio that includes a 5% to 15% allocation to REITs with a combination of other investments can fetch good returns. REITs can provide a steady stream of income through dividends, and they can also appreciate in value over time.

P2P Investments

Peer-to-peer investment platforms such as Prosper and Upstart allow individuals to lend money to other individuals or businesses. P2P investment can be a good way for 50 year olds to earn better returns on their money than they could from traditional savings accounts.

It is important to understand the risks involved in P2P investment before investing. One of the biggest risks is that you could lose your money if the borrower defaults on their loan. Another risk is that P2P investment platforms are relatively new and unregulated, so there is a risk of fraud. However, if you are lending money on these platforms, ensure you put a small part of your money and choose low-risk borrowers. Doing this will earn you returns of between 12% and 16%, but your money will be safer.

Target Date Funds

A target date fund is a type of mutual fund that holds multiple asset classes such as stocks, bonds and automatically rebalances over time to achieve a specific asset allocation on a target date. Target date funds are designed to target your anticipated date of retirement and as your retirement date gets closer, the fund adjusts its holdings from higher-risk, higher-growth assets to safer, lower-risk assets. With target date funds, you focus less on maintaining your investment portfolio because target date fund managers handle asset allocation, buying, selling, and rebalancing.

Target date funds are designed to be a one-stop shop for retirement investing. They are named after their target retirement date. For example, a 2030 target date fund is designed for investors who plan to retire in 2030. They are a popular choice for retirement investors because they are easy to use and require little to no maintenance.


Before you invest in cryptocurrency, make sure you are in a financially sound position because crypto is a risky investment. You can buy crypto through traditional finance apps such as Cash App, cryptocurrency exchanges such as Kraken, Coinbase or crypto banks such as Revolut and Mistertango.

You can invest in cryptocurrency through interest account via Dollar Cost Averaging cryptocurrency with DCA exchanges or Bitcoin investment apps such as Swan. If you live in supported countries, you can also open crypto trading account with platforms such as XTB or Dukascopy bank.

Investing for Retirement After 50

Building a well-diversified investment portfolio for 50-year-olds is a complex task that requires time, effort, and research. There are many different investments available, and each one comes with its own set of risks and rewards. It is important to carefully consider your individual circumstances and financial goals before making any investment decisions.

Once you have built your portfolio, you will need to monitor it regularly to ensure that your investments are performing as expected. You may need to make adjustments to your portfolio over time as your circumstances change.

The percentage of your portfolio that you allocate to each asset class is entirely up to you. However, it is generally recommended that 50-year-olds invest more in safer assets, such as bonds, and less in riskier assets, such as stocks.

More Information

Investment for 50 year old FAQs

Is it worth investing at 50 years old?

Yes, it is still worth investing at 50 years old. Even if you are nearing retirement, you can still benefit from investing. Even if you are starting late, you can still reach your financial goals by investing wisely. You may need to invest more aggressively than a younger investor, but it is still possible.

What is a good portfolio for a 50 year old?

Good investments for those in their 50s include 30% stocks, 50% bonds, and 20% real estate. Real estate can be a good way to diversify your portfolio, but it can also be expensive.

Crispus (BSc and MBA) is a finance professional with more than a decade experience as a financial analyst, writer, researcher, and trader. Crispus has written in-depth articles on leading platforms like CCN, Marketwatch, Investing Cube and Seeking Alpha. He also runs a forex education firm. Follow him on Twitter: @crispusnyaga and read more about us.