Financially Ready for Retirement?

Whether you are just beginning your employment years or counting the days to begin your retirement, it is important to routinely make sure you are financially ready for retirement.

Majority of Workers Not Financially Ready for Retirement

Recent statistics show that 60% of workers 55 and older have saved less than $100,000 towards their retirement.  Of this 60%, 36% have saved less than $10,000.  Current estimates for a somewhat comfortable retirement include having savings of at least one million dollars.  While that figure is not going to be be attainable for many, who is going to take care of all these individuals who aren’t financially ready for their retirement, whenever it is to begin?

Just finished reading an article this morning which reinforced to me how this message just isn’t being accepted by the majority of us in the US.  Yes, I know there was a terrible economic crisis in the last few years.  My household and career were impacted as well. We all know people who are trying to survive paycheck to paycheck, having had to also borrow from their retirement programs or deplete their savings.   You may be among this group, or were at one time in the last few years. But that doesn’t include everyone in that 60% statistic.  Time to wake up and take responsibility for your future to the extent that you are able.

(“Employers making room for job-hunting boomers” Kasia Klimasinska, Bloomberg News, 9/13/13)

Employment Options Changing

It used to be that fast food jobs and other part time positions were considered entry level and reserved for high school and college aged kids.  No more.  Because they are not financially ready for retirement or unable to find other employment, those 55 and older are filling these jobs, with the anticipation of having both wages and benefits for a while longer.  And, recently there have been protests across the country that these jobs are not paying enough to provide a wage sufficient to support a family.

Workforce Aging

Did you know that by 2016 one quarter of the workers in the United States will be 55 or older?  This will be a 20% increase from 2010.  The Baby Boomers will continue to be a force to be reckoned with, if only because their numbers continue to influence so many factors in our economy.  And, how many of them are financially ready for retirement?  I think my answer needs to be: not enough.  What does that mean for the country as a whole and our financial situation over the next ten to twenty years?

Don’t Postpone

Take some time today to review your family budget.  Do you know where the money is being spent each month?  Are you enrolled in your company 401(k) program?  Do you routinely put money into a savings account?  Do you have a retirement plan of any type?

Make sure you are financially ready for retirement well in advance of when you plan to retire.  Current estimates, even with the Affordable Care Act changes, estimate that retired couples will be spending at least $250,000 during the remainder of their lives on health care expenditures alone.  It’s time to assume responsibility for your future and become financially ready for retirement, starting NOW.

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