Are You Saving For Retirement? It May Be Time To Start Thinking About It

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ace your retirement

Hello friends,

When I was asked to share this public service announcement from AARP and the Ad Council I jumped on it.  I am not receiving any payment for sharing this information whatsoever.  I just agree that we as a nation have fewer fewer people saving for the future and it’s critical that we plan for the future so I was honored to be selected to share.

With the holidays upon us well it’s a good time for a “money talks” post and the topic on my mind today well is retirement.  I remember when you are 21 years old and the world is your oyster or you think it is and then you get married, and have children, and all of a sudden retirement or saving for it seems unproductive because it feels like years and years before you ever get a chance to use it but the reality is many folks reach retirement without anything to show for it and well the US dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it used to for one thing.  Diapers are hugely expensive and so are groceries and that doesn’t even count luxury items that we all would like to have a few of.  As ya’ll know for me I invest my luxury money in technology but not every one even feels like they have extra money just laying around to go off into a bank account while they are stretched to pay bills.

As someone who used to work in a low-income mid-rise as a property manager I saw very early in life the importance of saving.  Did I save like I should early enough….probably not but as soon as I could I have and we are paying the price now just a bit by doubling up on contributions.  Giving contributions to your retirement as early as possible is one of the most powerful steps you can take in your financial future. 

I have had relatives that did not save for their retirement and it does impact them with their decisions on the future and for me it was one reason I decided on a traditional career (Mon-Fri) but that’s difficult for those who are self employed but it can be done!

retirement infographic
Something to think about:

Today, many Americans households have virtually no retirement savings. This shortfall is especially critical for people in their late 40s and older, who are only years away from retirement.  Americans know they should be focused on the long-term, with nearly 6 in 10 (58%) preferring to save for retirement over something more short-term, a vacation (40%).  But approximately 2 in 5 households headed by people age 55-64—over 9 million households—have no retirement assets saved at all.  among workers with access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, more than 7 million don’t participate. 28% of people with access to an employer-sponsored plan do not contribute enough money to reach their company match, meaning they are essentially leaving free money on the table.)

  • Approximately two in five households headed by people age 55-64 – over 9 million households – have no retirement assets saved at all. [Source]
  • In 2017, 48% of retirees reported that they retired sooner than they had expected, cutting into the time they had planned to keep saving. [Source]
    • Reasons for retiring earlier than expected include health problems or disability (41%), changes at the workplace such as downsizing (26%) or taking on adult caregiving responsibilities (14%)
  • Taking steps to take control of your retirement planning could have a positive impact in many areas of your life. According to a recent AARP and Ad Council survey:
    • More than half of people in their 40s and 50s say that feeling more confident about saving for retirement would help them feel less stressed (54%)
    • And 46% would be happier knowing they are taking care of their family’s future
    • More than a third would feel more confident tackling other goals/challenges in life (38%) and would feel better emotionally and physically (36%)
  • Women are less confident than men when it comes to their ability to save for retirement than women (only 46% of women are confident compared to 54% of men), but women often control the household budget and make smart spending decisions every day. Women have what it takes to save for retirement!  According to a recent AARP and Ad Council survey:
    • 7 in 10 women report coupon-clipping or searching for deals online, but only about half of all men do (73% vs. 54%)
    • Likewise, 7 in 10 women sign up for customer rewards programs compared to half of men (70% vs. 54%)

AARP shares  in just three minutes, AceYourRetirement.org’s digital retirement coach, Avo℠, will provide a personalized action plan that highlights your top three action items – the simple, practical things you can do right now to make sure your retirement plan is on track. Write about your experience, especially any tips you found surprising or especially helpful, and encourage your readers to try it for themselves.

  • This year we are going to chat about retirement and make it a point of conversation with our kids, and I will ask my Mom to share too as it never hurts to discuss strategies for saving.
  • I also am going to review me and the Viking’s portfolio over the holidays to just see if we can give more and think more thoughtfully about the bills we need to cover.
  • If your employer offers matching funds for your retirement savings plan, make sure you’re contributing at least enough to get the full employer match.
  • Brainstorm ideas for having additional streams of income that can be placed towards your retirement.

Some quick steps you can take right now:

  1. Minimize debt – but not at the expense of paying into your 401k or other retirement accounts. The less debt-load you have during your retirement, the more you’ll be able to make your retirement dollars stretch.
  2. Don’t rely solely on Social Security – in fact people are often recommended to wait until up to age 70 to collect Social Security to allow benefits to grow more.
  3. Consider whether downsizing your living quarters makes sense once children are grown and out of the house.
  4. Make sure your beneficiary designations are up-to-date and talk too your spouse to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  5. If you’ve been divorced but not remarried you may be eligible to Social Security benefits from your ex-spouse.
  6. Enroll in a retirement savings plan. Even a little bit held out from each paycheck can really add up.
  7. Never contribute less to your 401k account than your employer matches if they offer a matching program. Save more if possible and increase your savings by 1% per year whenever possible.

Oh and make sure to visit here to find out what you need to do next for your retirement.  It only takes three minutes, it’s easy!  I did it and it was really enlightening.

I wish you all a beautiful week!  Happy saving!

Fondly,
Karen Lynn signature

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