For millions of Americans stepping into retirement this year, or in the years ahead, planning is key to the success of enjoying their golden years. With a lot of financial pressure now squeezing retirement savings accounts and pension funds, a growing portion of the aging population might find it increasingly hard to retire at a reasonable age.
In a recent report by the global advisory and financial firm, PwC, it was found that a quarter of American adults have no retirement savings lined up, with only 36% of respondents saying their retirement planning is currently at appropriate levels.
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Even those that have been saving for years will still come short, as the rising cost of living and inflation worries dive deeper into consumers’ disposable income and retirees’ savings.
Those that look to retire within the coming years will need to up their portfolios to ensure they can enjoy a comfortable life once they step out of the working force. Yet, the outlook is growing increasingly grim for millions of U.S. adults who have not properly prepared for their after-work years.
A media release by The Guardian in 2021, revealed how millions of American adults will have to continue working once they have reached retirement age. Social security, welfare, and pension funds are drying up, and individuals are unable to pay even their regular bills with the monthly stipends.
It’s become a tumultuous thought for many people planning their retirement, and having one or two different investments such as stocks, bonds or a 401(k) won’t cut it anymore.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, it’s impossible to predict the future. With growing market volatility and high levels of economic uncertainty, it’s best to be as well prepared as possible, narrowing the possibilities for errors or any costly mistakes.
Before you’ll be able to enjoy those golden years, it’s time to kick a few things out of your lifestyle to help you properly save and adjust to the idea of retirement.
- Full-Time Income
Now that you have been working on retiring, perhaps sooner than expected, it’s time to say goodbye to your full-time income and get ready to live off a smaller, and less flexible budget. Depending on your financial position, and how much you have been able to save over the years, you might have some legroom to play around with here and there.
During our time in the labor market, we were almost always certain of a good and stable monthly income, job security, and other work-related benefits. Now that we’re in our retirement years, these monetary benefits begin to shrink and deplete over time.
Your full-time income is no longer a given every month, and it’s time to get into the mindset that you will need to make some lifestyle changes to ensure you can outlive your pension and savings and not the other way around.
- Being Employable
While you might have years worth of industry-related experience and knowledge, it’s time to get used to the idea that you are no longer as employable as you were 20, 10, or even five years ago.
The labor market is red-hot with competition, and standing out in the crowd has become an increasing challenge, even for younger, more sophisticated, and better-educated candidates.
Finding a good-paying job takes longer, and more experience than it did nearly 20 years ago. According to reports from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), candidates with postsecondary degrees – bachelor’s or master’s – are more valuable in the labor market.
At the time when you entered the market, employers were looking for hardworking and loyal employees that could get the work done. Nowadays, employers are looking for people with multiple levels of credentials, and even then it’s not to say that they will secure the job they want.
Landing a good job is one thing, keeping it is another, but leaving the workforce and having to return a few years later, being older, and stepping into a completely new job market makes it incredibly challenging to adjust and find an employer willing to take a chance on you.
- Expensive Lifestyle Habits
These habits take a huge dip into your retirement funds, and it’s not to say that you will ever see returns on those expenses. We’re not only talking about making unplanned purchases or taking extended holidays. There are multiple assets you might currently have that no longer serve a purpose in your life, or that of your partners’ that’s costing you every month, and over time this starts to eat away at your nest egg.
Some retirees hold onto their cars, despite no longer needing them to commute, or having to carpool their kids and grandchildren. Others have plans to remodel their homes and make lavish upgrades, book trips abroad with friends, or even buy a second home that will become their holiday home.
While these things may seem enjoyable at the time, it’s important to think of the long-term financial repercussions and how this will affect your financial position. Consider keeping one of your vehicles, and selling the other, downsizing your home, instead of upgrading. Plan and save for a trip abroad, and choose more budget-friendly destinations. Instead of buying a second home, see whether it’s possible to sell your primary residence and relocate somewhere more enjoyable if that’s the case.
Think smarter, and remember that with retirement comes a hefty lifestyle adjustment that you and your partner need to get used to, if not, you’re going to have a hard time enjoying the little you have left of your nest egg savings.
- Having Enough Time To Save
Contrary to popular belief, there is no right time or age at which you should start saving or planning for retirement. The best time is sooner rather than later. Making the decision to save from a young age, or when you receive your first full-time paycheck is one of the best choices any person can make.
As you edge closer and closer to retirement and have realized that you haven’t saved enough to enjoy the time after leaving the workforce, you might want to start considering some existing alternatives that can help you boost your savings.
Take some time to reach out to other people, and hear what they have to say. Find out what investment products are out there that can still deliver a sizable return. Make a bit of effort with your savings plans or your 401(k) gold investments, and see whether you can maximize the returns as much as possible.
Many experts have remained bullish regarding precious metals as the average price of gold has increased by 15% on a year-over-year basis when inflation trended upwards above 3%. In the same breath, it has been found that when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases above 5%, prices of gold typically trend higher above 25%.
Having a gold IRA is the same as having a standard IRA, but allows you to hold gold in your retirement investment portfolio. Often, seasoned investors look to invest in standard gold IRAs as a safe bet against inflation and other volatile market fluctuations that can drive down portfolio performance.
Luckily there are several alternatives out there that can help you bump up your retirement plan, it just takes a bit of effort and time to get in contact with the right set of products and services.
Saving for retirement is never easy, and there are a lot of factors that you need to take into consideration. On top of this, it’s difficult to plan for an uncertain future, or any unexpected scenarios that can cost you money.
Be proactive in how you use your money when you’re still pulling a monthly salary. Be sure to put enough away to properly enjoy the time you still have left.
- Final Considerations
Retirement planning should be seen as a burden, and it should leave you anxiety-riddled. Yes, it is a serious topic of conversation, and considering the high level of economic and financial uncertainty more and more soon-to-be retirees face, it’s important to plan, and ensure you are financially prepared for your golden years.
Although you may be leaving the labor force, and stepping into a new time in your life there should be a change and adjustment in how you think, what you do, and how you spend your money. Working smarter with your money, and stretching those dollars will help you enjoy a more comfortable, relaxing, and secure retirement.