Retirement isn’t as far away as you may think it is. Studies in the way our brains age indicate that as we age, time actually does move faster. Or at least it does for our brains.
With every day that passes, you are getting closer faster to retirement. Are you ready?
One of the best ways to understand what it takes to be retired is to talk with those that are already there. Though we like to imagine retirement as a time to travel, garden and drink coffee at the local cafe every morning, it isn’t often a carefree time.
A study, conducted by Brightwork Partners for Putnam Investments, analyzed people who have been retired for two to six years. These retirees are old enough to have the traditional pensions, but still young enough to have 401(k)s as well.
Traditional pensions are disappearing fast, but that doesn’t give the current society of retirees an edge over the younger generations.
The average annual income for new retirees, before taxes, was $36,000. Almost 50% reported incomes of less than $25,000, while 25% reported less than $15,000 a year in annual incomes.
Over half of the retirees said that their standard of living had declined since they stopped working. Only 30% said that they were living comfortably. Twenty-one percent reported that it is a struggle to make ends meet.
Over 40% of the annual income for the retirees came from Social Security. The average income was only 11% income from savings and investments.
With traditional pensions becoming a thing of the past and Social Security uncertain for the future generations, today’s workers must start saving now.
Talk with a retiree and you will find that retirement doesn’t get easier as time passes. Over 60% of retires say that they longer they are retired, the harder it gets. Many are surprised to find that maintaining a certain level of living is quite difficult.
Those that are the most satisfied with their retirements are those with the highest incomes and assets. For example, 50% of those with an annual household income of $75,000 are “very satisfied” with retirement.
Most retirees will tell you that they wished they had saved more. Nearly 60% wish they had started saving earlier.
What can you learn?
Start saving now and save as much as you can. Don’t be left feeling that retirement could have been better or different. Once time has passed, it will be too late.
Sit down with your finances and start a plan to save for your retirement. It doesn’t matter if you can only afford $25 a month. The point is that you are putting something back. Over time, perhaps you can save more. With interest, your savings will grow. And hopefully, you will be one of those “very satisfied” retirees.