Friday, September 6, 2013

Five Shocking Retirement Facts

Retirement is an opportunity to enjoy the things that make you happy. You need a solid strategy to help ensure you'll have enough income to live comfortably after you stop working. There are several retirement savings and planning strategies for you to consider.

Despite the Dow hitting all-time highs, millions of Americans still have a dismal outlook when it comes to their own ability to retire.

Consider these five statistics:

 •46% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. (Employment Benefit Research Institute)

 •40% of baby boomers now plan to work until they die. (AARP)

 •36% of Americans say they don’t contribute anything at all to their savings. [CNBC]

 •87% of adults say they are not confident about having money for a comfortable retirement. (

 •Expected retirement age is up to 67 from age 63. (Zero Hedge)

So why, in the great prosperous country of America, are so many faced with doomed retirement dreams?

Those who took the surveys pointed to the rising cost of living and day-to-day expenses as the reason they are worried about or unable to save enough for retirement. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the once mighty dollar no longer goes as far as it once did. Many also noted that healthcare and long-term care costs will have a major impact on their ability to afford a comfortable retirement.
Start Saving As Soon As Possible
If you're just beginning your career, you have the power of time and compounding interest on your side. When you start saving early, you give yourself more options, and your investments have more time for potential growth.

Develop an overall personal budget, and make sure you contribute to your retirement fund monthly. Make plans to increase your monthly retirement savings each time they get a pay raise. Contribute to a 401(k) and receive any company match. After paying off any high-interest credit card bills, open a traditional IRA for your retirement savings. Once these high-interest cards are paid off, use a low-interest credit card and pay it off each month.

Plan to open a Roth IRA which designed to help you save for retirement. It allows after-tax contributions in exchange for the potential for tax-free income in retirement. Generally speaking, if you think you might be in a higher tax bracket when you retire, a Roth IRA may be right for you.


Take Advantage of All Your Options

If you've been working for several years and are only now starting to think seriously about retirement, you're not alone. Maybe you're already saving for retirement but haven't put all the pieces together. Or maybe you haven't started saving yet. The good news is you're not too late to get on the right track. You can still benefit from tax advantages and potential compounding of your money.

Maximize Your Savings in the Higher Income Years

If you're at the height of your career, you should consider taking full advantage of all of your retirement savings options. By saving as much as you can in several types of accounts, you may have more flexibility when you retire.

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