What Retirement Looks Like Today
Just this month, Transamerica released its annual retirement survey. “Retirement Throughout the Ages: Expectations and Preparing of American Workers” includes surveys of workers and notes that the U.S. retirement system has historically been based around three main sources of income: Social Security, employer retirement benefits and personal savings. These days, contemporary strategies include a combination of many sources. This isn’t to say, however, the three primary sources are any less important. The findings are interesting, especially one-third of those surveyed answered “working” when asked about an additional source of income once they reach retirement age. Nearly fifteen percent are already working in their retirement years for the sole purpose of offsetting worries that they are ill-prepared for retirement.
Very few respondents – 14 percent – say they’re enjoying their retirement years with no financial worries.
This begs the question: why are so many opting to continue working? People in their thirties, forties, fifties and sixties had one common answer: income and benefits. Most say they enjoy their work anyway. Others say they’re still trying to recover from the recession and a few respondents say they won’t be able to recoup their losses before retirement, but that they have no other choice but to continue working well past the time they hoped they’d be retired.
Another interesting element: many who were surveyed say they feel as though retirement is something to be eased into. Reducing their hours is one way of easing into it and others sought less stressful jobs. Their goals are simple: to enjoy leisure time while also working, even part time, to line their nest eggs.
Estate planning can be an incredible tool for making the most of your retirement. For instance, long term care insurance policy will pay out money to help cover the costs of nursing home care, an assisted living facility or at-home assistance if you are no longer able to take care of yourself. This is especially important if you’re worried about how you’ll cover healthcare needs in the future. Remember, Medicare does not cover extended care coverage and while Medicaid does help with these types of expenses, there are mandatory compliance rules that can be challenging.
Be sure you’re making the most of your employer sponsored retirement plan. Double check the contributions and be sure you’re contributing as much as you can.
Also, it’s always a great time to plan for Social Security. By planning early, you have a better chance of making the most of your retirement income.
Ask yourself if your budget is making the most of your earnings. Is there anything you can sacrifice today for a better retirement? We’ve been told all of our lives that we need an emergency fund. But why not take those savings and pay off revolving credit, such as credit cards and use those as an emergency backup? You’re keeping far more of your money this way and you’re not sacrificing any financial tools you might need in the future.
Finally, be sure to meet with a financial planner and an estate planning lawyer so that you can get a realistic “snapshot” of what the future holds. Our team of qualified attorneys stand ready to help. Contact us today to learn more.