All too often, parents are so busy raising families and working their jobs that they forget to save enough for retirement. You might have lived beyond your means for far too long whilehelping pay for your kid’s college education. Then there’s the country club, the new car every three years, the vacations…By retirement, you’ve had no choice but to dig into your 401(k), and your credit card debt runs in the tens of thousands.
If you find yourself in this precarious financial position, you’re in luck if you’ve owned your own family home for decades. It means you can apply for a reverse mortgage loan which will help you tap into all the equity you’ve been building up for all those years. The proceeds from this special variety of home loans can potentially run in the hundreds of thousands.
If approved for a reverse mortgage, you can take your proceeds in one lump sum payment or equal monthly disbursements. No matter your choice, you need never pay the loan back until you leave home or die. You can find out how much of a reverse mortgage you qualify for using an online reverse mortgage calculator.
But what if you no longer live in your family home or have been living in an apartment for ages? If you haven’t even come close to saving for retirement, what are your alternatives? According to a recent article by CNBC, by the time you reach 67 years of age, you need to have ten times your income in the bank. This information wasn’t pulled out of a hat, and it comes from the professionals at Fidelity Investments.
Says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, what this translates into is that if you have been earning $56,524 per year or what’s considered the average income of someone 55 or older, you need to have $565,240 saved and invested by the time you blow out 67 candles on your birthday cake. Some experts argue you will need twice that amount considering spiking inflation and the dollar devaluation.
You’re not alone if you haven’t saved enough. Up to 45 percent of Boomers claim they failed to save enough cash for retirement. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to right your financial ship in your golden years.
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Estimate What You Need to Retire On
Most Baby Boomers are said to have guesstimated how much they will need to live large in retirement rather than sitting down and calculating the money they saved and what they will need. Planning for retirement means writing down all the money you expect to spend according to the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to.
Either use a free online retirement calculator or base it directly on your current expenses. Personal Capital offers a free retirement calculator and a planner.
Don’t Toss Out Your Resume Yet
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but with half of the Boomer population having failed to save properly for retirement, many are planning on not retiring after age 65. In fact, they are taking proactive steps to make sure they can continue to work alongside the much younger, tech-savvy staff. This means keeping their skills up to date in a rapidly digitized world.
Suppose Boomers are not able to keep their original careers intact. In that case, many will find themselves tapping into the gig economy, like driving for Uber or perhaps putting up a portion of their home on Airbnb. Some will work in grocery stores, and yet others will begin new careers based on their skills, like landscaping, home painting, cooking/baking, or even writing blog content.
Come Up with a Solid Retirement Strategy
Calculating your retirement finances means you need to create a plan that includes your overall lifestyle. CNBC claims that only 22 percent of Boomers have written down a solid retirement strategy.
What should be included in the plan? Your sources of income (and there should be as many as possible), expected age of retirement, living expenses, investments and savings, government benefits, inflation, expected longevity based on your family history, and the possibility of long-term care.
Take Advantage Tax Incentives
Two tax incentives should be investigated. They are the Catch-Up Contributions and the Saver’s Credit. CNBC reports that only one-third of Boomers are even aware of a Saver’s Credit. The tax credit is available to those who possess a qualified retirement account, such as a 401(k) or an IRA.
You are eligible for these plans if you are 18 or older and no longer claimed as a dependent on another individual’s tax return. You also can no longer be a student. The credit amount varies from 50 to 10 percent of your contribution, depending on the adjusted gross income on your tax return.
Retiring without enough money isn’t the ideal situation. But with some creative saving and investment solutions, plus building new, multiple income streams, even if they seem on the surface to be relatively small (they all add up at the end of the month), you can at least live a lifestyle that somewhat mimics the one you were used to when you were employed full-time.