After years of punching the time-clock, most of us hope to retire some day. But do you have enough in order to kick back on the beach with a cocktail?
As many Baby Boomers continue to enter retirement, a report posted by the Insured Retirement Institute showed Baby Boomers’ confidence in their retirement plans is on the decline, a trend dating to 2011, when IRI first began tracking Boomers’ retirement expectations.
“Back then, the percentage of Boomers showing high levels of confidence in their financial preparations for retirement dropped from 44 percent to 35 percent. But while confidence continues to slip, IRI found slight improvements in several important measures, including the percentage of Boomers with retirement savings, their total savings, as well as the number of Boomers with a retirement savings goal and a planned retirement age,” the IRI report says.
“One of the most striking developments since we began this research series is the decline in Boomers who did not know when they would retire,” IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford said. “That number has been cut in half. While the research shows that they are deciding to retire later in life, the important thing is that they are grappling with important aspects of retirement planning and beginning to develop a clearer picture of where they are and where they intend to be.”
While Boomers’ current economic outlook has also gone south, they are showing some optimism their financial situation will improve, with 42 percent of Boomers expecting things to get better in 5 years, compared to 33 percent of Boomers who shared this view in 2013.
Are you like those Baby Boomers lacking confidence in your retirement plan? Don’t get lost in complicated details; first, gain an overall perspective in what you expect and want in your Golden Years. Whether you’re unsure how to begin retirement savings or you’re seeking a better plan, here are some easy-to-understand suggestions:
- Set clear objectives. What are things that you need to do during your retirement (i.e.: maintain housing, pay utilities, etc.)? What do you want to be able to do during your retirement? What expenses other than the basics do you want to know you’ll be able to meet? Consider what you need in a paycheck and what you want in a “playcheck.” The paycheck is for necessities: Bills, food, etc. The “playcheck” is for what dream about in retirement: Hobbies, vacations, in other words the fun stuff.
- Create your own income stream, or “personal pension.” The sooner you address your potential income gaps and begin creating your personal retirement income strategy, the better off you’ll be.
- Maximize Social Security benefits. This is another strategy for creating that important personal pension. Today, there are various ways to claim your Social Security benefits. Still confused? Best to seek a professional to help you with ways to maximize your SS benefits.
In the end, it’s up to you on how you choose to separate your paychecks from “playchecks,” since doing so will ultimately decide your long-awaited retirement plan.