Thinking of Retirement, consider the following
"A goal without a plan is just a wish,” Antoine de Saint-Exupery. As you approach your retirement you should consider your situation and ask if it changed due to marriage, divorce, children or career? If so, and even if not, this is a good time to examine your progress and your goals, and perhaps to set new goals.
Consider the following information as you plan, in 1935, the average 65-year-old could expect to live 12 more years. Today, the Social Security Administration says the average person at age 65 can expect to live around two more decades. Living that long without working takes a lot more money. Have you saved enough to see you through? Probably not because we can’t shake recent tough times
The Great Recession of 2008 that ended a decade ago, which was one of about 8 that hit us while we were working, robbed workers of earning power. It hit men and women in their 50s and early 60s especially hard. Home values and investment savings also plummeted.
Some of us are still digging out from that hole. And even those who were fortunate enough to pop their heads back above ground now face health and financial headwinds because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
As they say, we cannot get a break to save our souls.
Some of us look to Social Security to help us out. Guess what? Social Security is still under pressure. Unless Congress acts, Social Security Trust Fund reserves are expected to run out in 2034, according to the Social Security Administration. Costs are outpacing revenues due to a rapidly ageing population. Even if lawmakers address the broader issues, the amount you receive might depend in part on when you start claiming it.
So those of you who were lucky enough to save what you thought was enough money need to earn money on that investment and you are looking for higher interest rates. Retirees in previous generations earned higher interest on their savings and low-risk investments. But interest rates now are near historic lows. That means many of us must take on riskier investments to generate income.
Earlier generations endeavoured to enter retirement with a paid-off home and no debts. That’s harder to do today as we have used the leverage we have in our homes and in our jobs to help our kids out, and they may not be in a position to pay us back when we need them to pay us back.
I have many friends who are working or are counting on working until their mid 70’s. But poor health, a job loss, or the need to care for loved ones can force people to retire before then and as we age, we get ill faster and take longer to heal.
Finally, about 12 million adults age 65 and older live alone, according to a 2016 study from the Pew Research Center. Many find freedom in being single, but it can be difficult for one person to support a household financially. So, many of the boomers may have difficult retirements.
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