I recently had lunch with a friend (let's call her Penny) who is approaching her 60's. Penny has been unemployed for over a year now. She also has had ongoing health problems for years. As much as we enjoyed the food, our conversation was totally consumed by concern for Penny's future - how to survive the unknown number of years ahead?
Penny is not alone. Looking at the statistics, she is actually in a better position than many workers in the U.S. According to the 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, most Americans have very little savings or investments.
29% of survey respondents reported to have less than $1,000 in savings/investments, and 56% have less than $25,000, excluding the value of their homes and defined benefit plans. While the high percentage is skewed by younger respondents who understandably have smaller savings accounts, still 46% of workers age 45 and older reported to have less than $25,000 of savings and investments.
Our homes used to be a safety net for retirement. Unfortunately, the current financial crisis has shown that real estate markets can be volatile. House prices have now fallen back to their early 2000's levels. And defined benefit plans are hard to come by these days. Furthermore, we can no longer rely on the Social Security and Medicare systems to bail us out.
Regardless of the economic outlook, in order to ensure a comfortable retirement you need to spend a significant amount of time planning for it. According to the RCS, one of the underlying causes of inadequate retirement funding is that many workers simply do not understand how much money they need for retirement. No target, no result - not a surprise.
The Natural Choice Directory partners can help with your retirement planning.
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Estimate how much is needed for retirement at the desired retirement age to sustain the desired lifestyle afterwardsDetermine how to accumulate a retirement fundSelect investment optionsFor those interested in exploring life beyond retirement, life coaches or personal growth counselors can help you with the exciting transition.
A little bit of planning now can help pave the way to a carefree retirement.