We’re all aware of the fact that many (if not most) Americans haven’t saved enough money toward their retirements. One common response to the anticipated gap between anticipated living expenses during retirement and the amount a person has saved is for that person to delay the date upon which they anticipate being able to retire.
The reasoning is certainly clear; by working longer a person will be able to both save more money for retirement, and to delay the date upon which they’ll have to begin living off the funds in their nest egg. Unfortunately, the statistics indicate that this isn’t always possible.
A recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that while a full one third of workers planned to retire after the reached age 65, less than half of those individuals actually remained in the workforce that long. On the flip side of the coin, while less than 10% of workers indicated that they planned to retire before they reached age 60, approximately 35% of individuals had actually left the workforce by the time they turned 60.
While some of these individuals may simply have been fortunate enough to accumulate much more than they originally planned to, that same report makes clear what’s driving these numbers. Nearly half of all retirees indicated that they left the workforce earlier than anticipated in order to deal with health issues, either their own issues or those of a spouse or family member.
In addition, a significant number of individuals who left the workforce earlier than they planned did so because of an employer downsizing or closure, or because they no longer had the skills to remain employed in a changing marketplace.
In short, just because a person hopes or plans to stay in the workforce for a longer period of time in order to make up a shortfall in their retirement savings, that doesn’t mean it will be possible to do so.
As an alternative, a person could also make up this shortfall by adjusting their anticipated retirement lifestyle, thereby reducing their retirement expenses. While there is likely to be a minimum amount that an individual or couple will need to retire with reasonably stability and security, chances are this amount is less than what they were hoping to live off of.
If you’re not willing to downsize your retirement plan, then you’re only left with one real alternative, and that’s to maximize your rate of retirement savings every single year, and to begin doing so immediately. You might also investigate the advantages that a Roth self-directed IRA could provide you, in terms of the tax-free distributions you can take, as well as the fact that you could let a Roth account continue to grow even after you reach age 70, such that you’re not subject to the rules on required minimum distributions.
Contact Quest Trust Company to learn more about how you can open a self-directed IRA and strengthen your financial future.