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Tips for Stretching Retirement Savings

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A growing number of retirees are struggling to make ends meet. An estimate by the National Institute for Retirement Security places the average retirement savings at just over $30,000. With even the best investment strategies, it will still be challenging making that last years or decades. The numbers support this. According to the National Senior Citizens Law Center, over six million retirees live below the poverty line; that number continues to grow.

It’s still possible to save for retirement. At any stage in life, creating a financial plan to prepare for the future can help create savings and security for the future. The right savings strategy will vary depending on goals and ability, yet there are some tips that apply to nearly all. Start saving with a goal in mind. Here are 5 tips for saving enough to retire.

1. Determine Annual Expenses

Each year of retirement has set expenses. These will vary for the individual yet for most people these include healthcare, housing, meals and other daily necessities. Be sure to include ongoing utility payments, HOA memberships, and all regular debits regardless of obscurity. Sufficient retirement savings will cover these obligations plus any increases over time due to inflation. Speak to a financial planner for help determining the monthly cost of retirement and creating a budget to meet it.

2. Plan for Entertainment

Creating financial plans, many people often forget to include budgeting entertainment expenses. This can lead to a dull retirement or to spending money outside the prescribed budget. Either way, planning for entertainment expenses helps balance a financial plan for retirement. Regardless of how you want to spend your time, experts recommend adding 10% to the estimated cost. This creates a buffer, allowing you to get out and enjoy retirement.

3. Distribute Savings

The right savings vehicles for retirement depend on goals, ability, and much more. Planning for a successful retirement requires more than a savings account. Speak to a financial advisor about opportunities to boost retirement savings with stocks, bonds, and other investment options. With distributed savings and assets, personal income reserves are better protected from shifts in the market.

4. Postpone Social Security

Social Security payments increase at age 70. For those able to sustain on alternate sources of income before then, they stand to gain. Full Social Security benefits begin at age 66 yet a mere four years can add 32% more to the payout. A financial plan can help make this happen. Research shows 97% of Americans draw benefits before age 70. This means the overwhelming majority of people are missing out on retirement benefits. Start planning today to take advantage of increased Social Security payments each month.

5. Think About Taxes

Each year, the amount of income drawn from retirement savings is subject to taxation. Depending on the amount of income accessed the applicable tax bracket may shift. This can lead to higher tax payments than originally planned for. Speak to a financial professional about the smartest ways to draw retirement income while managing taxes.

Call today more on how to prepare for successful retirement. Regardless of age, it’s still possible to start planning for an enjoyable retirement. Take the first step, contact a financial planner today.

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