For years, much publicity and press have been focused on the retirement savings gap. Some 45 percent of working-age households, or 38 million, have no retirement account assets, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. The average working household has virtually no retirement savings.Continue reading
Be prepared to retire earlier than you currently expect. Open a retirement account, such as a 401(k), IRA, or defined contribution plan, and contribute to it regularly. Create a realistic retirement plan, for both your retirement finances and your lifestyle. Work with a financial advisor.
These are some of the takeaways from the newly released 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey prepared by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald and Associates. The survey, now in its 26th year, is the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind in the nation. It never fails to hold useful insights for retirees and pre-retirees of various ages.
In retirement, housing options are many and varied. The choices include downsizing to a smaller home or another part of country; moving overseas; assisted living facilities; a retirement village or cohousing; and home sharing.
Many retirees are choosing to remain in their own homes. This means home renovation has become a big business. If you are looking to stay in your home through retirement, or expecting a parent or relative to move in, here are some renovations to consider.Continue reading
You might think your credit score no longer matters after you’ve retired. In a few cases, that’s true. After all, you’re probably not buying a home, or taking out a business loan. In retirement you’ve left all that behind in favor of European vacations, trips to the park, or rounds of golf. But there are several good reasons why you should keep paying attention to your credit record in retirement.Continue reading
Many retirees welcome hearing about ways to stretch their savings and improve their finances.
You can upgrade your finances in two basic ways: either reduce your expenses or increase your income. There are many opportunities nowadays to do either.
One of the easiest ways to cut back on your expenses is to find ways to save on things that you buy. You may not gain much with each change, but by taking small steps your savings can add up big over time. Here are some ideas for lowering your monthly cash outflow.Continue reading
Over the years, you’ve developed dozens of habits, whether you’re aware of them or not. The weekly flow of going to bed, getting up in the morning, driving to work, and coming back home, form a familiar routine. This routine becomes a lifestyle that you’ve grown accustomed to and comfortable with.
When you retire, these habits and this lifestyle instantly disappear. For many people it’s disconcerting, to say the least. Here are some ways to adapt.Continue reading
Like many retirees, you may be concerned about going broke in retirement. This could leave you in a bind. There are no “retirement loans” you can take out, and at that point you may not want or be able to go back to work in a job that could make a meaningful difference in paying your living expenses.
That’s why it’s crucial to plan ahead of time and be careful how you manage your savings, possibly with the help of a reliable financial advisor. No matter how well you plan, sometimes life throws unexpected curves, and there’s no avoiding them. But at least you can arrange your finances to make the best of whatever comes.
Here are some ways you could end up broke in retirement.Continue reading
After several decades of working and maybe a couple of decades raising kids, you probably have a lot of extra stuff. Many people have a lot of extra items around their home. Clothes you never wear, old electronics that have replaced by newer models, unused furniture, books you’re never going to read again, decorations, children’s toys, and more.
Why not unload some of this extra stuff? Besides decluttering your home, ridding yourself of unused stuff can help bring in extra cash. So there’s a double benefit.
There are many items around your home that you may be able to sell.Continue reading
Like many retirees, you may be concerned about your retirement savings lasting for your entire retirement. You want to create an income stream to meet your retirement expenses, but how much can you safely withdraw each year without danger of outliving your savings? What’s a safe withdrawal rate?
The common answer is that you can withdraw 4% of your savings annually, inflation-adjusted. This figure is based on analysis of historical stock market returns by various financial researchers.
But it turns out that your asset allocation, i.e. which types of stocks you invest in, and what percentage are in other investments such as bonds, can make a significant difference in how much you can safely withdraw.Continue reading
You may have devoted a lot of time and effort to retirement planning. Maybe you’ve planned and saved diligently for retirement for years, and purchased Medigap coverage to cover medical expenses. But one important area you might have overlooked is dental care.
After you retire, your need for good dental health doesn’t go away. In fact, it might even increase. Poor or neglected dental health is associated with malnutrition, speech impediments, and chronic pain and can even contribute to serious health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, conditions which become more prevalent as people get older.
But it can be difficult to obtain dental care in retirement. Only about a third of Americans have retiree health benefits from their former employer, and Medicare does not cover most dental exams or procedures. Here are some ideas for obtaining dental care in retirement.Continue reading
It’s a sinking feeling when you discover you can’t pay your taxes. It can leave you feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, angry, and a host of other emotions. Falling behind on your taxes can also impact your financial life. The IRS can seize your assets. Unpaid taxes can lead to fines and penalties, interest, and can lower your credit rating. A credit downgrade will lead to higher interest rates or even being denied if you should need a loan later.
There are many reasons why you may be unable to pay taxes. An unexpected expense may have come up, such as a medical bill. Or you could have recently lost a job you had or taken a pay cut.
Whatever the reason, there are things you can do to get out from under. Here are some things to do when you can’t pay your tax bill.Continue reading
We’ve often been told that effective people cultivate and practice effective habits. That while everyone’s situation is different, certain consistent patterns of behavior increase one’s chances of success. This applies to individuals, families, and companies; hence we have the seven habits of highly effective people, teens, families, and entrepreneurs.
The same holds true of retirement. Although everyone’s retirement is different, there are some habits that retirees can cultivate to increase the odds that their golden years will be many and fulfilling. Below we propose seven habits of highly effective retirees.Continue reading
Many people approach retirement with a feeling of uncertainty. Uncertainty that they have enough savings. Uncertainty about what they’ll do with their time. Uncertainty that they can deal with the loss of regular social interaction and sense of purpose they get from work. Uncertainty, in general, that retirement is right for them at this time.
If that describes you, then maybe a retirement ‘test drive’ might work. This increasingly popular arrangement is called phased retirement, in which employers reduce the working hours and provide partial retirement benefits to some of their older workers for a period of time. This is often a win-win: it gives workers a preview of their retirement and allows them to continue bringing in income, and it allows employers to keep their more experienced workers for a bit longer at reduced cost to mentor younger workers.Continue reading
Many Americans favor nontraditional living arrangements nowadays, and retirees are no exception. Traditionally, seniors have moved to be with or near grown children or relatives, transferred to retirement facilities, or simply remained in their homes.
Most retirees continue to have these arrangements, but an increasing number are looking for creative ways to live their retirement lifestyles. As retirees live longer and stay active for years or decades after retirement, these arrangements are enabling seniors to meet their needs for social interaction and support while also enjoying their independence.
Here are some popular nontraditional living arrangements for retirees.
Once you’re near retirement, you’re on the home stretch and the finish line is in sight. But while for many people this is a time to relax and pursue your favorite hobbies, it isn’t a time to ease up on your planning. On the contrary, managing your savings and your time becomes more crucial as you approach and transition into retirement. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.Continue reading