Let’s face it. Life isn’t what it used to be. Nowadays, living off of Social Security, is just history. Those days are long gone. As disappointment shadows over those who know this has become their reality, many are also beginning to feel anxious with their retirement options. With healthcare costs on the rise, employers are decreasing hours and benefits, causing living standards to soar, while leaving retirement planning as a last priority to many. It’s no wonder people are considering working past the traditional age of retirement. Planning towards a satisfying retirement may seem more of a luxury, than an attainable goal.
So how can you afford your lifestyle, post retirement age? Well, for starters, retirement products (i.e. IRA, 401(k), pension, etc.) all help. If the company you work for offers any of these benefits, take it. Secondly, plan ahead. The sooner you start planning for retirement, the better. Experts say individuals should start looking at options early on in their 20’s if they want to have a decent financial future by the time they reach the age of 65. Frankly, who wants to work hard during their paramount years to have to downgrade their lifestyle when they retire? It is important to create a budget, analyze spending habits, factor in future goals (as well as unexpected life occurrences) and take action. Understanding how much you will need in years to come, will help determine what you can and must save now to help get you there. Online tools such as the AARP Retirement Calculator, are useful and can get you started with your planning process. Once you have direction
towards reaching your financial goals, deciding how to save and invest your money wisely, will be critical in yielding a better outcome for your future.
The disadvantageous truth is that the retirement crisis is only getting worse. With the work force consisting more of individuals past the age of 65 than normal, college grads not being able to find good jobs, and minimal to no Social Security for future generations to come, saving and investing is the best formula for retirement in 2014. Fortunately, there are investment programs that can increase your savings and help you get one step closer to living comfortably when you reach that stage in your life. No matter how close you are to the term “retirement”, it doesn’t have to be a luxury.