According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average life expectancy for an American today is 78½. However, many people may live 20 to 30 years past what is considered the typical retirement age of 65. The challenge is how to arrange your financial resources so you will have adequate income throughout those retirement years.
The median income of the retired population is around $18,700 for those ages 65 and older. In 2010, Social Security, on average, accounted for 40% of their income. Pensions and annuities accounted for 20%, income from assets accounted for 12% and income from earnings accounted for 27%.
According to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly benefit for retired workers was only $1,230 per month at the beginning of 2012. Could you retire on this?
A survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) revealed that the percentage of workers saying that they have saved for retirement decreased from 75% in 2009 to 65% in 2012. Only 42% of the respondents said they have tried to calculate how much money they need for retirement, and 16% of workers were not confident of having enough money for retirement.
When will you retire?
While retirement typically occurs around age 65, reaching that age does not necessarily signal a complete end to employment. Many retirees continue to participate in the workforce for financial and nonfinancial reasons.
You should evaluate your current financial resources to determine if you will have adequate income during your retirement years. If the projected retirement income is not adequate, additional income needs to be allocated to save for retirement years. You need to understand the importance of saving for the future and beginning this as early in life as possible. If job changes occur, you should preserve your retirement accounts as you move from job to job.
Because retirement planning is a multi-dimensional undertaking, you should review how to best distribute and preserve assets. Retirement planning does not end when you retire; retirement planning includes putting the plan in effect.
You will need to be aware of the options available to you that include:
- Health-care resources such as Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage
- Life insurance for final expenses, income replacement, asset shortfalls, children with special needs, legacy planning and estate tax needs
- Short term and long-term care options to ensure asset protection, choice of care and spousal survival health needs
- Financial products such as lifetime income annuities to provide for income to and beyond normal life expectancy. You may live 30 or more years after you retire.
All of these issues need to be reviewed with your agent and/or advisor to insure you have the best advice and guidance for a secure retirement.