Retirement income that’s guaranteed for life can be a valuable resource. It provides you with financial certainty so you can make informed spending decisions. Guaranteed income isn’t impacted by market volatility, which could reduce your anxiety about the future. Best of all, you can’t outlive guaranteed income, so there’s no risk of running out of money in the later years of retirement.
Unfortunately, guaranteed retirement income isn’t as common as it used to be. Most retirees can count on Social Security benefits, which are guaranteed for life. For most people, however, Social Security is likely to be insufficient to fund a full retirement. Pensions are also disappearing from employer benefit offerings. Many retirees will likely have to rely on withdrawals from savings to pay for their retirement expenses.
However, you have the option to create your own stream of guaranteed lifetime income by using an annuity, specifically something called a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA). A SPIA is an insurance policy in which you convert a lump sum of assets into an income stream that lasts for a specified period of time, usually life. SPIAs aren’t right for everyone, but they can be helpful tools for some retirees.
Have you put off saving for retirement? You’re not the only one. According to a recent study from the Economic Policy Institute, the average family between the ages of 44 and 49 has only $81,437 saved for retirement. That number is $124,831 for those between ages 50 and 55 and $163,577 between ages 56 and 61.1 While those numbers might represent a good start, it’s fair to say they’re not sufficient to fund a long retirement.
The good news is it’s never too late to get started. You may have to make some adjustments to your plans and vision, but with some discipline and focus, you may still be able to fund an enjoyable retirement.
A key goal in any retirement plan is to minimize expenses so your assets last as long as possible. There are a number of cost-cutting measures you can take in retirement, such as downsizing to a smaller home or reducing your amount of discretionary spending on things like dining out and shopping.
Annuities are an often misunderstood financial tool. Many people assume that annuities are too complex to understand, or they may believe annuities are too costly. The truth is that annuities can be helpful financial tools when used appropriately. Without the right information, however, it can be difficult to decide whether an annuity is right for you.
Do you own one of the more than 25 million individual retirement accounts in the United States? Since its inception in 1974, the IRA has become a popular savings vehicle for retirement, largely due to its flexibility and substantial tax advantages.1
Originally, there was only one type of IRA available - the traditional IRA. Traditional IRAs offer potential tax deductions for upfront contributions, assuming you meet income limitations. They also offer tax-deferred growth as long as the funds stay inside the account. However, all distributions from a traditional IRA are taxable.
3 Secrets for a Stress-Free Retirement
Every year since 2001, Gallup has conducted a survey to measure Americans’ top financial worries. Medical bills, cost of living, and investment volatility are commonly cited by respondents as significant concerns.
However, the study has delivered the same number one financial worry for sixteen consecutive years. It’s the concern that one won’t be able to afford retirement. In the 2016 study, 64 percent of Americans said their primary financial concern is that they won’t have enough money to retire comfortably.1
The “sharing economy.” It’s one of many ways that the internet and our new digital society has upended the way we do business. For the uninitiated, the sharing economy is based off of the idea that you can earn supplemental income by simply “sharing,” or renting, assets that you already own.
An example is Uber, with which you use your own car to give people rides and earn income as you do so. Another is Airbnb and other property rental sites, which allow you to rent your home, vacation property or even a spare bedroom to another person. There are even sites that allow you to rent tools, yard equipment and other types of property.
If you’re currently planning for your upcoming retirement, you’re probably aware of some of the financial challenges you may face. Many retirees are concerned about whether they’ll have enough income to live comfortably in retirement and whether that income will last their entire life.
Investment volatility is another common concern. If the market takes a steep downturn, your savings could see a big drop in value. If you’re reliant on your savings and investments for income, you could find yourself in a difficult situation.
Is Working in Retirement Right for You?
When you picture your retirement, working at a part-time job might be the last thing on your mind. But that's exactly what many retirees have chosen to do, for a variety of reasons. In fact, statistics from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) demonstrate that 20 percent of Americans over age 65 are still employed to some degree.
In a few cases, these working seniors represent those who just haven't retired yet. But many people initially retire, only to re-enter the workforce at a later time. If you're wondering why, the AARP gives five main reasons that working in retirement is a common choice among senior citizens.
They're bored. Most of us believe that we can't wait to stop working and enjoy our retirement years. But many seniors actually discover that they're bored after their careers have ended! By returning to work, at least part time, seniors stay active and feel engaged in their communities.
They've been pursued. It feels good to be wanted, and many employers are actively seeking older workers! The experience level, maturity, and high degree of skill displayed by retirees are highly valued attributes in the working world. It can be hard to say no when employers pursue you!
They just don't feel “done”. Many of us pursue careers that pay well, but that we find emotionally unfulfilling. It's understandable to make this choice when we have bills to pay and a retirement plan to fund. But later in life, we may decide that we're ready to take on a second career that we truly enjoy, or that makes a difference in the world.
They can afford to do it now. Sometimes the more fulfilling jobs are the lower-paying ones. But now that your primary career has funded a comfortable retirement, and you've claimed your Social Security benefits, you may find it possible to take on a rewarding position doing something you truly love.
They need the income. Sometimes working in retirement isn't all about personal fulfillment or staying active. Some seniors retire to find that their retirement income doesn't quite provide for the lifestyle they truly want. In that case, a part time job can help pay the bills or fund an annual vacation.
If working in retirement sounds like fun, then go for it! But if you don't want to be forced back to work out of necessity, then you need to make sure your retirement plans are in order. Schedule regular meetings with your retirement planning professional to make sure that your financial plans align with your ultimate retirement goals.
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