Saving for Retirement
Return to Home and Family Agent ArticlesRecently I participated in a webinar where saving for retirement was the main topic. Many people wonder if they have or will have enough money saved to be able to retire comfortably. When thinking about your retirement savings, there are a number of things to consider, according to the webinar presenters from the University of Florida Extension:
- How far in the future do you intend to retire?
- How many years do you anticipate your retirement will last?
- What lifestyle do you intend to maintain during retirement?
- How will you cover rising health care costs?
- What sources of income will you have during retirement?
- Do you intend to supplement your retirement income by continuing to work?
A 2014 article in USA Today stated, “About 36% of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or defined benefits plans such as traditional pensions”. Further, “Only 44% say they or their spouses have tried to calculate how much money they'll need to save by the time they retire so that they can live comfortably in their golden years”.
When looking at the statistics for only women, the website of the U. S. Department of Labor tells us the results are even grimmer. That is because:
- Women are more likely to work in part-time jobs that don’t offer a retirement plan
- Women are more likely to interrupt careers to care for family members
- Women invest more conservatively than men
If you are not among the 44% who have calculated your needs for retirement, try using one of these on line tools, provided in the University of Florida Extension webinar:
- The Longevity Game
- University of Rhode Island Center for Personal Financial Education Retirement Estimator
- How Long Will I Live?
- American Savings and Education Council’s Ballpark Estimate Worksheet
Do you think your savings are on track right now for your retirement? If you have already retired, or planned well for a future retirement, you can validate your position by using one of the calculators above.
Remember to include your Social Security in your retirement income planning. The Social Security Administration has several benefits and retirement calculators at www.ssa.gov. Set up your my Social Security account on their website, if you haven’t already.
After using the calculators, if you determine you actually do not have enough resources to retire comfortably, the University of Florida Extension webinar presenters offer these strategies:
- Consider delaying retirement
- Work part time in retirement or phase into retirement
- Increase your savings with catch up provisions in your employer provided retirement plans or IRAs
- Examine and change the asset allocation of your savings and investments
- Reduce your level of living or other expenses now, before and during retirement
- Alter your bucket list
- Charge rent to an adult child if they live at home
- Compare insurance products to see if you can reduce premiums while still maintaining coverage
Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, at Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers Catch-Up Retirement Planning Strategies for Late Savers at www.eXtension.org.
Retirement is a big step in one’s life. Planning ahead pays off. Knowledge is power to help you plan and be ready for this next big opportunity.