RETIREMENT SAVINGS TOP CONCERN FOR SENIORS

Jul 8th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

The National Institute on Retirement Security recently published a study that highlights a top concern of senior citizens and Baby Boomers. The findings confirm

“…the American Dream of retiring comfortably after a lifetime of work will be impossible for many. Based on 401(k)–type account and IRA balances alone, some 92 percent of working households do not meet conservative retirement savings targets for their age and income. Even when counting their entire net worth, 65 percent still fall short.”(NIRSonline)

The report goes on to say that the typical working-age household has only $3000 in retirement savings on average; near retirement households have only an average of $12000 in retirement assets.

What this means for many of our pre-retirement readers is retirement dreams have to be postponed, perhaps indefinitely.

Some Solutions

Solutions to the retirement finances crisis likely lie both in individuals and in public policy. Some suggestions for individuals trying to catch up as much as possible include

  • Create a plan to get out of debt; you may need to drastically change your lifestyle and if you cannot do that by yourself, get help. Financial advisers can provide options from which you can choose a plan that you think will work for you.
  • Get help to identify the many ways Social Security can be claimed; most of us seniors do not know that there are over 80 ways to claim Social Security; we need to educate ourselves about these options so we can choose the one best suited to our individual circumstances;
  • If you do not have enough retirement assets to maintain the standard of living you want, do not retire.
  • If you have already retired and find you do not have enough money to live on, find a part-time job. Many jobs are advertised online, and you can find them on community-forum pages such as craigslist.com, as well as the multitude of ‘job openings’ websites online. Just use the phrase ‘find a job’ in your favorite search engine and you will see a gazillion websites that have positions available.

In addition, seniors need to be aware of the need for public policy to support retirement planning.  The National Institute on Retirement Security says this about public policy:

Public policy can play a critical role in putting all Americans on a path toward a secure retirement by strengthening Social Security, expanding access to low-cost, high quality retirement plans, and helping low-income workers and families save.

We seniors need to continue to educate ourselves about retirement planning so we can help both ourselves and others we love who have yet to retire.



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