12 Signs You’re Doing Well Financially When You’re Over 65

Are you feeling financially fit as you enter retirement?

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Updated June 6, 2024
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Heading into retirement, many people are unsure if they will have enough money for the rest of their lives.

While there is no particular number to assure that you will have exactly as much as you need, there are ways to figure out if you’re on the road for a stress-free retirement.

Here are signs you’re doing well financially when you’re over 65.

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You’re mindful about spending

Costello77/Adobe woman taking out us dollar

Just because you’re retired, doesn’t mean you spend money recklessly. Studies show retirees don’t actually spend that much less than they did when they were working.

You are likely to maintain the same lifestyle you did when you had a full-time job. If you’re doing well financially, it’s likely because you don’t waste money.

You home is paid off

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According to the American Community Survey, 34% of those over age 65 were still carrying a mortgage in 2022.

Living in a paid-off home means you have eliminated one of your largest monthly expenses and possibly your largest debt. You also have an asset that can be sold or equity that can be accessed, if needed.

If your mortgage is paid off, it’s a sign that you’ve managed your finances well.

You have hobbies

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Research shows that having hobbies can contribute to your overall happiness and well-being. However, if you’re struggling financially or worried about having enough, spending money on hobbies isn’t in the cards.

Whether you like to collect Disney snow globes or play nine holes of golf every morning, having room in your finances for hobbies is a good sign that you’re doing well.

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You travel often

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You’re in good shape financially if you’re able to travel leisurely and often.

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You’re already retired

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According to a Gallup survey in 2022, only 30% of adults had retired before age 65. Even the Social Security Administration has set the full retirement age at 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

If you are over 65 and already retired, you are in the minority. This is likely because you’ve managed your finances well and are able to sustain yourself without a 9-to-5 job.

You have 10x your income saved for retirement

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Everyone’s financial needs during retirement will be different. Depending on cost of living and health concerns, you may need more or less than your neighbor. Either way, you will need enough to live on.

Some experts recommend having 10 times your income saved by age 67 to be on track for retirement. If you already have that, you’re on the right track financially.

You max out your 401(k) account every year

vetkit/Adobe businessman counts money

Using tax-advantaged accounts is a great way to build your nest egg for retirement. And if you contributed to your account and earned the employer match throughout your working years, you should have a hefty account by the time you’re 65.

If you’re still working and saving, you can contribute up to $23,000 to your 401(k) in 2024 and an additional $7,500 if you’re over the age of 50.

You’re waiting to take Social Security

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While you can start taking Social Security at age 62, waiting until you are age 70 can have huge financial benefits. If you delay taking Social Security, you can get up to 132% of your monthly benefit.

Being in a financial position to wait to take these payments means that you have other means to support yourself and you’re in a good spot.

You have no credit card debt

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Almost 34% of people aged 65 to 74 are carrying a credit card balance, according to the Federal Reserve. Not only does the payment take a bite out of your monthly budget, but not paying off the balance means you’re accruing interest which just increases your debt.

You’re doing well if you pay off your balances each month and don’t ever pay interest.

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You have long-term care insurance

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Unfortunately, Medicare and Medigap insurance don’t cover long-term care needs. The Administration on Aging estimates that 70% of people over age 65 will need some type of long-term care.

If you have already obtained long-term care insurance, you are ahead of the curve.

You contribute to charities

sawitreelyaon/Adobe charity donation center

Donating to charity not only helps others but can help you as well. If you itemize your taxes, you may be able to get a tax deduction based on your donations. Giving to others can also help increase your happiness and improve your health.

Being financially fit over 65 means you can contribute to causes that matter to you.

You have a diversified portfolio

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As you age, your investment portfolio should shift as well. You don’t want to stunt your investment growth, but you need to make sure you are protected during volatility in the market and economy.

Your stock allocation should equal 100 minus your age. So if you’re 65 now, you should have 35% of your investments in stocks and the rest in bonds.

If you have already moved your portfolio to a moderately conservative position, you are on the right track financially.

Bottom line

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If you’re reading this list and feeling behind, don’t stress. There are steps to take if you’re just getting by.

Yet these markers can help you evaluate your financial situation and guide you to make changes if you need to. How you feel about your financial life is the most important indicator.

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Holly Humbert

Holly is a writer who recognizes that there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to personal finance. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, women in business, and financial literacy. With more than four years of experience, her work has been featured on MarketWatch and The Ways to Wealth.