Saving for Retirement – It’s Never Too Late
The difficult economic environment of the past few years may have stalled your retirement savings plan—or maybe you haven’t even gotten around to creating a plan. And you’re not alone—43 percent of Americans had less than $10,000 saved in 2010.
The good news is that it’s never too late and with the right planning, you can retire comfortably no matter what your age. According to retirement planning specialist Derrick Kinney of Derrick Kinney & Associates, never think that you’re too old to start saving for retirement. As he explains, the years between your 40s and 60s represent a timeframe when many of the financial obligations associated with raising a family have decreased, allowing you to put retirement savings into overdrive.
Kinney offers the following tips for speeding up the process:
- Create a detailed catch-up plan. Determining the amount of money you will need in retirement can be difficult. You must factor in the inflation rate, your retirement age, the longevity of your retirement and your expected expenses, including your increased medical costs. For obvious reasons, calculating retirement income can get complex fast, but there are online calculators that can provide an estimate. Plus, there are some widely accepted guidelines you can use as a baseline such as planning to live on 80 percent of your pre-retirement income. After you have determined the estimated amount of money you will need to save, use that number to create realistic, yearly goals.
- Redirect spending to build your savings. Since you are beginning to save later in life, Kinney recommends you save 20 percent of your salary each month. Take advantage of online budgeting websites and smartphone apps that connect to your accounts and track your spending to determine wasteful spending habits. Cut out these habits and redirect the money to your savings account. Also, consider automatically directing any raises you receive to your savings account. You can’t miss money you never touched.
- Invest wisely and max out your 401(k). After you have built up your savings, you will need to invest some of it to ensure future income. Yes, the market does fluctuate, says Kinney, but overall, it has a pretty good track record and still remains a good bet against fighting inflation. Begin investing by maxing out your contributions to your 401(k), 403(b) or IRA. Next, consider purchasing exchange traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds. You can even invest in real estate using a self-directed IRA. Make it a point to review your investments periodically to ensure they are performing to your expectations.
- Buy the appropriate insurance. Statistics show that nearly 2/3 of retirees will need long-term care either at home or through an assisted living facility and the cost can be upwards of $50,000 annually. To ensure skyrocketing medical costs won’t destroy their financial security, retirees should consider purchasing long-term care insurance as well as health insurance, says Kinney. It’s important to realize long-term care insurance does not cover the same day-to-day medical expenses that health insurance covers and if you retire at 59.5 you are on your own when it comes to providing health insurance. Retirees may also want to consider buying life insurance if they have dependents.
Following the above four steps can put anyone on the path to a more secure retirement, even if you’re in your 40s, 50s or 60s.
As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.