Sterling Savvy


How to Invest in Your 50s UK

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
Reviewed by:
How to Invest in Your 50s UK

In a nutshell, in your 50s in the UK, focus on maximising pension contributions, particularly to take advantage of higher tax relief rates. Shift towards more conservative investments to protect your portfolio as you near retirement, while still maintaining some growth-oriented assets. It’s also crucial to review and adjust your investment strategy to ensure it aligns with your retirement goals and timeline.

Navigating how to invest in your 50s in the UK is a unique financial challenge, and I’ve crafted this guide to address the specific needs of this age group.

In these concise insights, you’ll find strategies focused on maximising your investments for retirement and beyond, ensuring financial security and peace of mind.

This article was reviewed by Tobi Opeyemi Amure, an investing expert and writer at, and

Quick Steps to Invest in Your 50s in the UK

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on investing in your 50s:

  1. Refine financial priorities: Shift investment focus in your 50s towards wealth preservation and align your strategy with retirement readiness and anticipated expenses.
  2. Establish an emergency fund: Aim to save six to twelve months’ living expenses as a buffer against unforeseen costs in your 50s.
  3. Assess pension status: Review all pension schemes, consider increasing contributions if needed, and explore consolidating pensions for simplicity and fee reduction.
  4. Shift to lower-risk investments: Gradually move your portfolio towards stable, lower-risk options like bonds as retirement nears.
  5. Focus on income-generating investments: Prioritise dividend stocks or REITs for regular income and potential capital appreciation.
  6. Opt for index funds or ETFs: Choose index funds or ETFs for diversified, lower-risk investments with generally lower fees.

How to Invest in Your 50s in the UK

Your 50s are an important decade for setting up and getting prepared for your retirement.

Investing wisely during this period can yield substantial benefits in the long term.

Here are some key steps to consider:

1. Decide Your Financial Priorities

Investing in your 50s requires a shift in focus from aggressive wealth accumulation to wealth preservation and income generation.

Now is the time to outline your short-term and long-term financial priorities. Consider how close you are to retirement and how well-prepared you are for it. Are there large expenses you anticipate in the near future?

Make sure your investment strategy aligns with these priorities.

2. Put Aside Money as an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is essential at any age, but it’s particularly important in your 50s when health-related or unexpected costs could be just around the corner.

Ideally, you should aim for six to twelve months’ worth of living expenses.

Having this cushion can give you the freedom to make investment choices without the pressure of needing quick liquidity.

3. Review the Current State of Your Pension

Your 50s are crucial for pension planning. Ensure you know the state of all your pension pots, including employer-sponsored schemes and personal pension plans.

If you’re behind in your contributions, now might be the time to catch up. Use pension calculators to gauge how much you need to live comfortably in retirement and adjust your contributions accordingly.

It’s also a good time to consider consolidating your pensions to simplify management and potentially lower fees.

4. Start Considering More Lower-Risk Investments

As retirement approaches, consider shifting your portfolio to include more lower-risk investments like bonds or government securities.

These can provide a stable, although potentially lower, return on investment.

While it’s tempting to pursue high returns to grow your pension pot quickly, taking on too much risk can backfire. Balance is key.

5. Choose Income Over Growth Investments

At this stage of your life, income-generating investments like dividend-paying stocks or real estate investment trusts (REITs) can be more beneficial than growth stocks.

These not only provide regular income but also offer the potential for capital appreciation.

Make sure to do your due diligence or consult a financial advisor to pick the right income-generating assets for your portfolio.

See also: How to invest in REITs UK

6. Consider Funds (Index or ETFs)

Funds like index funds or ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) offer diversification and usually come with lower fees than actively managed funds.

They can be a prudent choice for investors in their 50s looking to balance risk and reward. These funds mimic the performance of a particular market index and are generally considered to be lower risk compared to picking individual stocks.

By following these guidelines, investing in your 50s can be both a rewarding and secure experience.

Always remember that it’s never too late to improve your financial health.

Read my comprehensive guides on ‘how to invest in index funds‘ and ‘how to invest in ETFs‘ for more detail.

Is It Worth Investing at 50 Years Old?

Absolutely, it’s worth investing at 50 years old.

While you may be closer to retirement age, you still have time to grow your investments, and more importantly, generate income that can be used during retirement.

In fact, with life expectancies increasing, you may have two or even three decades to let your investments work for you.

The key is to focus on lower-risk, income-generating investments and diversifying your portfolio to minimise potential losses.

Best Investment Strategy in Your 50s?

The best investment strategy in your 50s will generally focus on a balanced approach, prioritising lower-risk, income-generating assets like bonds, dividend-paying stocks, and real estate investments.

Diversification becomes increasingly important to spread risk. It’s also a good time to review and possibly ramp up contributions to retirement accounts, as many plans allow for “catch-up” contributions for those over 50.

Here’s a good video that discusses and further helps to explain investing for beginners in the UK:

Final Thoughts

Investing in your 50s in the UK requires a nuanced approach that balances risk and reward, with a focus on securing your financial future.

From establishing clear financial priorities and building an emergency fund to revising your pension and selecting income-generating, lower-risk investments, the choices you make now are crucial.

While every individual’s situation is unique, consulting a financial advisor to tailor a strategy can be a wise step at this stage of life.


What should a 50-year-old invest in?

A 50-year-old should generally focus on a balanced investment portfolio that includes a mix of lower-risk assets like bonds and dividend-paying stocks, along with some growth-oriented investments. It’s also a good time to consider income-generating investments like real estate or annuities. As retirement approaches, asset allocation and risk management become increasingly important.

Is it too late to start investing in your 50s?

It’s never too late to start investing, even in your 50s. While you may have to adopt a more conservative strategy compared to younger investors, putting your money to work through well-considered investments can still significantly contribute to your financial security in retirement.

Best stocks for 50-year-olds?

The best stocks for 50-year-olds generally include stable, dividend-paying companies in sectors known for resilience, such as healthcare, utilities, and consumer staples. These types of stocks can provide a balance between growth and income while carrying less risk compared to more volatile options. However, individual investment decisions should be based on one’s financial goals and risk tolerance, often best determined with the help of a financial advisor.

Investment portfolio for a 50-year-old?

A 50-year-old’s investment portfolio should generally focus on a mix of income-generating and growth-oriented assets, while gradually shifting towards lower-risk options like bonds or dividend-paying stocks. The exact allocation can depend on individual risk tolerance, retirement goals, and other financial commitments.

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Will Fenton is the founder of Sterling Savvy. He is a personal finance expert and writes about trading, investing, budgeting, and other financial topics.

Along with his education in Economics & Finance, he has experience working in the financial services industry in London working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”.

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