Want to execute the perfect retirement plan? Live the perfect life.
In a fairy tale world, you would never lose your job, and you would be able to fully fund your retirement account for a long and fruitful retirement. Yeah, right! In this world a recessions would never happen. The stock market would always go up and never crash. You would max out contributions to your retirement accounts starting in your twenties, and you would never get sick. Your kids would pay their own way through college! Does this sound like you? If so, then you don’t need to read any further…just go sit on your own private beach and have your butler bring you a drink! 😉
You wouldn’t, for instance, be getting a divorce, and therefore, splitting up the; retirement savings, pensions and all of that home equity with your spouse that you acquired over a three-decades-plus marriage. You wouldn’t have needed to survive recessions, pay for college and live through career ups and downs…all of which hit your savings. Now, those savings don’t look like enough when you divide by two.
Life has its challenges…and if you have been challenged…then, read on and see if some of this advice will help.
For whatever the reasons, almost half of the baby-boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964) is in the same boat with smaller than expected retirement savings.
Some stark facts;
According to a 2012 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute; 60% of respondents age 55 and up had less than $100,000 in retirement savings, and 40% had less than $25,000.
Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, are retiring at a rate of around 10,000 a day.
Many Baby Boomers do not have enough saved for their retirement due to a lack of preparation, on-and-off employment, and the stock market decline of 2008 and 2009.
A Boomer who owns their own home in an area with a lower cost of living can retire on a lot less than a rent-paying retiree or senior in a major metropolitan area.
Maybe, you think that you can work forever. Really? Are you sure about that? In a recent survey commissioned by Wells Fargo, one-third of middle-class Americans said they’d need to work until at least 80 to have enough money to retire. Do you think that you can do that?
The reality is that nearly 60% of people who are now 65 are already retired, according to MetLife, and at least half of those people left the workforce because of a job loss or health problem. Keeping your health intact will be key to building an alternative retirement lifestyle.
You will need to have a plan. Something that you can do not a pie-in-the-sky wish and a prayer plan that many of us are not going to achieve. Whether you’re 60 or 40 or 30, you need to ask, what plan am I on right now? You can start taking small steps towards your alternative retirement lifestyle. Don’t succumb to thinking that you “can’t do anything.”
You will need to carve out more for your retirement savings. The numbers can work in your favor. Are your children adults? If you are over 50 years old then you should max out your IRA contribution…not just the $17,500 annual maximum (for 2013) to my 401(k), but also $5,500 in catch-up contributions. With an IRA, I can kick in $5,500 annually plus up to $1,000 as the catch-up amount.
Assuming that you are able to do it…start planning to work past your retirement age (although I definitely plan to be taking it easy by the time I’m 80). Each year you delay taking Social Security past your 66th birthday it will boost your benefits by 8%, until you reach age 70. Working longer will also give your investments more time to grow and reduce the length of time that you will be living off of your savings.
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