Will You Have Enough Money to Retire?

Are you about to retire soon? Are you financially prepared for what should and could well be the most rewarding phase of your life? If you can confidently answer “yes” to these questions, then congratulations!
Consider yourself fortunate. Last year, the Money division of Time.com published an article entitled “1 in 3 Americans Has Saved $0 for Retirement.” Yes, you read it right “0” or zero –in other words, zilch, bupkiss, nada.
Money to Retire
One wonders what on earth happened. What have these people been thinking – long-time employees who rode themselves all the way to the cliff of retirement age with absolutely nothing to show for it.
Well, things happened along the way: “credit card debt, student loan debt, low wages, the need to save for a child’s college education, and the list goes on,” according to Money columnist Cameron Huddleston.
It gets worse. GobankingRates surveyed groups of different ages – Millennials, Generation Xers, Baby Boomers and Seniors – and discovered that many are seriously behind in their retirement plans. In fact, 56% of all Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. The problem is worse for women. Two-thirds of women (63%) say they have no savings, or less than $10,000 in retirement savings, compared with a little more than half (52%) of men.
What about Social Security, you might ask? Don’t bet on it. Unless Congress acts on the problem, funding for Social Security could run out by 2034. Sure, payroll taxes could pick up the shortfall – but only to a point. The program will still be able to pay 79% of promised benefits.
What, then, can you do if you know you’re among the unlucky majority of Americans who has insufficient means to retire?
The first thing you should consider is very difficult and very unpopular. Lower your standard of living. Eat out less, buy a smaller car, take less expensive vacations.
Another thing you must do is to pay down on your credit card debt. The longer you carry that debt, the longer the interest payments can eat into your retirement savings.
Also, most financial planners suggest that employees about to retire should delay taking social security to maximize their benefit payments. This is not always that easy to do, however. It’s like asking “how long am I going to live?”
But as Investopedia points out:
“The answer depends on which age you file for the social security benefits. For example, assume your full retirement age (FRA) is 66, and the maximum benefit for the FRA in 2016 is $2,639 per mo. Say, if you’re 62 & contemplate to file for an early benefit, you may only get 75% of the full benefit, which is $1,979/mo. On the other hand, if you delay the claim to age 70, you will earn 132% increase, which is $3,483/mo.”
Another thing you should seriously think about is to delay retiring, especially if you’re in good health. Retirement is not always everything it’s cracked up to be. Yes, you can cut down on burdensome commuting, and, yes, you can enjoy the benefit of not having to put up with a difficult employer. But if you enjoy your work and the people with whom you work, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of a good opportunity to sock away additional income.
Finally, invest in gold – physical gold. You’re going to need protection against inflation when you no longer have pay raises to offset the increasing cost of living. Gold is still the very best way to protect your retirement account against inflation.
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