According to one poll, 64% of Americans will retire impoverished. Furthermore, according to the annual Retirement Savings Survey, 46% of respondents have no money set aside for retirement.
If you’ve come in late to the retirement savings game or simply don’t believe you have enough money saved to live comfortably once you retire, it’s time to reconsider some of your ideas about saving and investing.
You’ll need to adjust some of your money attitudes right away — or risk compromising your retirement funds — from deferring savings contributions to thinking health insurance and Social Security will cover you.
Myth #1: If I don’t work, I won’t be able to earn and save more money
Do you think you’ll need to keep part-time work or rely on another source of income to save for retirement? Reconsider your position. You could invest in a Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity (MYGA), which guarantees a specified amount of compound interest for a set number of years. Consider purchasing a series of smaller annuities over the course of five or ten years, which you can discontinue if your health deteriorates.
For example, you may buy a 5-year MYGA with a lump sum payment of $75,000 from a low-interest savings account to ensure a continuous stream of income for the next five years. This would allow you to quickly increase your savings without needing to work longer hours.
Myth #2: When I retire, I’ll be able to live on a lot less money
If your justification for ignoring your retirement savings is that you don’t need that much money to be happy or that you expect your cost of living to plummet, you may be in for a rude awakening when you eventually say goodbye to your salary.
Consider the consequences of inflation and any changes in your spending habits over the next few decades. Whether you plan on traveling, moving to a new home, or simply relocating, you’ll almost certainly require additional income.
Also, keep in mind that your mortgage may not be paid off or that you may need to take out a new loan. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing accounted for 36.5 percent of average yearly expenditures at age 75 in 2016. No matter where you live, that’s a significant amount.
Myth #3: I can’t afford to make risky investments so close to retirement
Even if you don’t have a lot of experience investing in the stock market, you can still get good returns on some types of investments as part of your retirement strategy.
If you’re nearing retirement, you probably don’t want to put your money in high-risk (and high-yield) assets in case the markets don’t perform well enough by the time you retire. With a portion of your undisturbed savings, you can afford to make some low-risk investments at that age.
One alternative is to join a lending platform and lend money to small business owners or individuals in exchange for a high return on investment. This form of investment isn’t as safe as, say, a bank CD, but it can let you put money down for retirement sooner than you expect.
Myth #4: If I get very sick, my health insurance will cover me
If you are diagnosed with severe disease or are involved in a serious accident, your health insurance coverage may refuse some claims or only pay a portion of your medical bills. If you have an Affordable Care Act plan, your out-of-pocket healthcare costs might range from $2,159 to $6,904 before you reach your deductible.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness, you may have to pay for medical procedures that aren’t covered by your Obamacare plan. If you don’t have money set aside for medical or health crises, or if you don’t have a critical illness insurance plan that pays for everything after you’re diagnosed, you could be saddled with medical debt for years.
Myth #5: My Social Security benefits are tax-free all the time
If you believe that Social Security benefits are never taxed, you need to wake up. This is, in fact, a fabrication.
Based on your previous retirement income, up to 85% of your benefits could be taxed. In other words, if your non-Social Security income is low enough, you may be able to avoid paying any taxes at all.
If your adjusted gross income and tax-exempt interest income plus half of your Social Security benefits equal less than $32,000 and you are married and filing jointly, you owe no tax. If your income is higher than this threshold, however, the tax you owe is calculated using a sophisticated formula given in the IRS publication 915 worksheets.
However, there is some good news: regardless of your income, you will only be taxed on 85 percent of your benefits. The remaining 15% is tax-free. Social Security is tax-advantaged, but not tax-free, in that sense. So, what are your thoughts? I hope this provides you with enough food for thought and encourages you to take your retirement planning more seriously.
Myth #6: I have other financial obligations to attend to
Depending on your age and stage of life, buying a home, paying for college, or paying off student loans and credit card debt may appear to be larger priorities right now.
Retirement contributions, on the other hand, should be a component of your financial plan regardless of your financial situation – even if you just contribute 1%, that’s money that’s going toward your future. Keep in mind that most retirement savings accounts are tax-deferred, allowing you to “protect” your money from income taxes as you save for your future.
If you want to read more about how you can manage your money better, check out this book on Amazon: Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By
Myth #7: When I die, my retirement funds will automatically be managed by my spouse or partner
There’s a chance your significant other won’t see your hard-earned money if you haven’t written a living will or specified how you want your retirement accounts — and any other financial assets you hold- distributed upon your death.
Make sure you’ve talked to a financial planner about putting together precise instructions on how to divide your assets and information about your funeral and final desires. You might use some of your retirement funds to set up a funeral trust or donate to a charity or fund of your choice.
As you can see, there are many myths about retirement. That’s why it is incredibly important to stay informed and never trust a piece of information without checking if it’s true or not. Maybe you heard something from your coworkers or you regularly take part in the “I’ll never be able to retire” discussion; it doesn’t matter. Always verify your information.
From early retirement to later retirement, there are many misconceptions that might make you believe that your golden years will not be the way you imagined them. But this should not stop you from dreaming while also taking care of your money.
When the retirement age is approaching, we start thinking about many things related to that. But one of the most popular topics on the minds of any soon-retired person is where to relocate after retirement. Since we are in the United States, there are a lot of options, but what are those that are the most budget-friendly?
Stay with us and find out about some of the best states where you can move and make the most of your golden years! If you want to find out more, don’t forget to read the following article: 8 Best States to Retire With Under $1 Million Saved