Retirement is For Freedom

There are two phenomena that are becoming all-too-common realities for Americans over 65. The first is: retirees returning to the workforce because they run out of money. The second is: a worker not being able to afford to retire ever. Recently Bloomberg reported that almost 19% of people 65 or older were either working full- or part-time as of 2017. Furthermore, some 20% of workers overall say they’ll never be able to retire1

Can you imagine that? Never being able to retire. You may think it won’t happen to you, but without a solid plan in place for all contingencies, it very well could.  These numbers may surprise you, but look at what most people are saving, it makes sense. According to Vanguard, the median account balance for 65 year old’s is a mere $58,035.2 If we spread that sum out over just 10 years to age 75 and that’s only $5,800 a year! And that’s assuming you only live to 75 when in reality you could live well into your 80s or 90s.

“But wait just a minute,” you might say, “I’ve saved more than that.” You may be a better planner than average. You may have more than one retirement savings vehicle. But let’s take a careful look. Ask yourself these three questions:

First, Have you done the math? Have you sat down with your accounts and mapped out how much each one will yield when you reach retirement age? You may be surprised at what you find, but looking carefully at your existing plan is the critical first step for ensuring freedom in retirement.

Second, Are these funds as easy to access and as free from taxation as possible? We all know that tax law is confusing, ever changing, and headache-inducing. Especially when it comes to the fine print of differing retirement savings vehicles. What you want is a professional who knows the ins and outs of this fine print – details that are confusing and yet profoundly consequential to your long-term comfort. 

Finally, is your asset allocation appropriate for your age and retirement goals?  More and more clients rightly pursue financial advisors for a portfolio success analysis which helps correct the balance of your stocks, bonds, and cash. Even just a few thousand dollars a year of savings can make a huge difference in retirement. And some proactive few, the savings can be vastly larger than that.

In the end we all hope to arrive at retirement looking back at our lives and what we’ve accomplished with pride and peace. Truly if this is your goal, the smartest thing you can do is to take the time now to pursue expert guidance and support. Failing to prioritize this when you have the time may be the biggest mistake you make. Taking control of your life and your plan with the help of a trusted advisor is the best thing you can do to reach the highest goal of true freedom in retirement.

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