One day you’ll be retired and relaxing on the beach, watching the sun go down. Whether your brow will be creased in worry, or you’ll have a big contented smile on your face will depend on this-whether you prepared adequately for your retirement. Preparing for your retirement should be done early enough and diligently. You do not want to get to your retirement only to realize that your retirement savings are not enough to last you the entirety of your retirement/life. If you have been wondering whether you are doing enough to save for your retirement, here are signs that should tell you that you aren’t:
You have not started saving
If you are waiting to start saving once you get to age 40, you are setting yourself up for a very hard retirement life. The earlier you start saving for your retirement, the better; as you will have more money saved for your golden years.
You have a hard time paying for medical bills
If paying out-of-pocket medical expenses is a struggle to you currently, this is a sign that you need to prepare yourself very well for old age, as far as medical expenses are concerned. This is especially so because as you grow older, medical expenses becomes even more pricey.
You have credit card debt
If you have credit card debt, there is a high probability that saving for your retirement is not even on your list of priorities right out. Straighten out your debt and get to saving. And while you are at it, you might want to avoid accumulating any more credit card debt.
You’re spending more than you’re saving
If a huge chunk of your income goes towards expenditure which is not even accounted for, you are definitely not getting prepared for retirement the right way. It is recommended that you dedicate 10 to 15 percent of your income towards your retirement savings.
You do not know how much money you will need to retire
If you have no clue how much money you will need to continue your current lifestyle after you retire, high chances are you are not saving enough, if at all you are.
You’re not getting the full match from your employer’s 401(k) match
If the company you are working for offers to match a portion of your 401(k) contributions, contribute enough money to get the full employer match. This is a quick and easy way to boost your retirement fund, and you will actually be getting free money. If your employer offers this program, you are doing yourself a great disservice if you are passing it up.
According to optimists, Americans have more retirement income; however, statistics disapprove this. Retirement is an important time in anyone’s life and many people spend time planning for it. Many policy makers are more concerned with ensuring retirees have enough income after they stop working. However, many people think the best solution is for people to have more working days so they have enough money during retirement.
The average retirement age
According to the latest data, men retired at an average age of 63.9 and women at 61.9. In 1960s, most men retired after 65 years but decades after, early retirement became evident with most men retiring below 62 years in mid 1990s. However, in the last two decades, the trend has reversed with the average age increasing rapidly. Although they still fall below their peak, they have stayed at 64 for the last five years.
Why Americans started retiring later
Alicia Munnell, from Centre for Retirement (CRR) in Boston makes several observations for the latest rise in the age of retirement. First, many people decided to work longer because of the Social Security provisions that encouraged longer work; like delayed retirement credits up to those with 70 years and less restrictive earnings test. Besides, the Social Security delay gives couples more benefits during their joint lifetimes.
Additionally, dynamic workplace trends increased retirement age even further. The removal of retiree health insurance perks and traditional pensions triggered people to rely on their finances. This led to delayed retiring to enhance security. Jobs with less physical involvement increased the average working ages. This means that Americans who worked longer had longer life spans and better health.
Last year’s Gallup poll made similar findings; the average age of retirement increased from 59 years in 2010 all the way to 62 in 2014. This came alongside similar increases in the age at which the young American employees should retire. Gallup mentioned a number of causes such as poor economic circumstances, insufficient retirement savings and the unwillingness of baby boomers to retire.
When would like to retire?
The CRR study recommends that the ideal way to secure a retirement would be to work longer. But supposing you wouldn’t want to work unnecessarily longer? Of course, to be more financially secure, you need to work longer because you are able to save more for the future while settling the current bills. Besides, collateral perks such as higher Social Security payments accompany delayed retirement.
Nevertheless, if you wish to retire earlier than an average American, you still have an option: boost your current savings now to create a bigger retirement investment when you finally choose to stop working. The savings you make in your 40s could give you about $2.50 and $7 in retirement. On the other hand, the amount you save in 30s could translate to $4 to $17 when you stop working.
Whether to retire late or early is not based on finances alone since many people have different perspectives on how their jobs benefit them. Nevertheless, those who would like to base their retirement on their schedule, making earlier investments for your retirement is the perfect way to go.