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Take the Retirement Reality Check

Although we like to think of ourselves as “Forever Young,” the reality is that for most of us, retirement age is right around the corner.

The good news is it’s never too late to make a plan. According to Charles Schwab, here are 2 steps you can take right now to help you better prepare for what should be the greatest time in your life.

Image courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you feel you haven’t really done enough to prepare for retirement, you’re not alone. The 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) revealed some eye-opening statistics about workers aged 55 and older:

  • 60% have less than $100,000 in retirement savings
  • 43% have saved less than $25,000
  • 36% have saved less than $10,000

Here’s what the money pros at Charles Schwab recommend:

  • Create a plan. Run the numbers to see how much you should be saving, based on your best estimate of what you plan to spend in retirement. A certified financial planner can help you crunch the numbers if you need it. There are also a number of “retirement calculators” you can find online that can help you with this. The key is not to overestimate the return you’ll get on your investments.
  • Save more. Once you've established your target, figure out a way to make it happen. Take a hard look at spending less so you can save/invest more. Ask yourself if you really need that $5 visit to the corner coffee shop every morning. Make an agreement with your significant other to spend less on birthday and holiday gifts. Savings as little as $150 a month can add up over time. Other viable options include retiring a bit later, working part-time in retirement, or spending less in retirement. Best of all you can mix and match any of these choice to help you reach your goals

Don’t assume your 401(k) and/or Social security will handle everything. Now is the time to take positive action to ensure you enjoy the retirement you deserve!

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