A 2017 survey by The National Institute on Retirement Security found that 88 percent of Americans believe the country is facing a retirement crisis – a concern that crosses all age, income, regional and political lines.
In fact, 76 percent of respondents feared that they would be unable to achieve a secure retirement. As a result, many people expect to work longer and spend less in retirement.
There are some real challenges leading to a potential retirement savings crisis, but they won't affect all Americans equally.
Just like it's never too early to start planning for retirement, it's never too late. Here are seven strategies you can adopt right now to improve your financial outlook down the road.
1. Know where you sit.
Fewer than half of all workers have even figured out what they'll need or what they'll have during retirement. Start visualizing how your needs and resources align.
Try the PNC Retirement Lifestyle Planner »
2. Shift your savings into overdrive.
Sure, you want to live well now – but at the cost of barely getting by later on? Fortunately, the caps on contributions go up as you get older to help you make up for lost time. In fact, they're even called "catch-up contributions."
Once you've turned 50, you can put up to $6,000 more into qualified employer-sponsored retirement plans each year or up to $1,000 more annually in an individual retirement account. And if you're not maxing out employer matches in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you're leaving money on the table.
3. Get a grip on spending & debt.
What money doesn't really need to be spent? You may think six dollars a day for lunch doesn't matter, but it adds up to roughly $1,500 annually that could be paid against a credit card or earning interest for you. Don't take anything for granted – can you renegotiate insurance, loans or utilities? It's worth a phone call.
4. Set aside a windfall.
If you get a raise, bonus or refund, pretend it never happened and bank that money.
5. Confirm your investments are appropriately allocated.
You don't want to over-manage your accounts, but you can't just set them up and forget about them either. PNC Investments can help confirm your investments are allocated in a way designed to balance your financial goals with the level of risk you're comfortable with, as well as your timelines for retirement.
6. Time Social Security benefits carefully.
You become eligible to claim benefits at age 62. However, the longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefits will climb – and they'll stay at that level for the rest of your life. This can make a big difference for you and your spouse, especially if he/she outlives you.
7. Recognize how close retirement really is.
If you've seen how fast a child grows up, or heard a favorite song from your twenties on an oldies radio station, you know that time passes far faster than you realize. If you haven't been taking retirement seriously, knowing that it's catching up to you may help spur a change in your attitude about saving.
Before you lose sleep over whether you'll be ready for retirement, contact PNC Investments at
855-PNC-INVEST. A Financial Advisor can help identify where you really are, where you need to be, and what routes can help you achieve the retirement you envision.
1. Source: National Institute on Retirement Security
2. Source: GoBankingRates.com
3. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
4. Source: MONEY Magazine
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