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Ready for retirement?

Today’s retirement trends are changing. Are you saving savvy?

The conclusion per two recent studies are that Americans are over confident, have grossly under estimated the amount of money they will spend during retirement years as well as having a warped expectation of how much pensions and Social Security will provide. The end result of these rose colored glasses is that we have not saved enough for retirement.

These results shouldn’t be so surprising, media and experts have been telling us to save since the 1980s when 401(k) plans came into being and companies started shifting retirement savings responsibility onto the workers.

Personal conclusion – it is good to do retirement planning. Of course not having retired, you will need to define for yourself what the overall retirement scene may entail for you.

Some companies are presenting options for early retirement or just downsizing and eliminating the over 50 group. This makes the job you were depending upon no longer an option. So it’s good to have a back up plan for making money on the side.

Most retired people are using their home equity at some point. They either sell their house or get a reverse mortgage to stay put. Or one of their kids moves back in to be a caretaker in their later years.

You will need to look at your spending habits changing. You may spend as much or more during your retirement years. With more time to play and shop on your hands, you will need to watch your expenditures.

The most realistic way to determine retirement spending needs is to sit down and work through a detailed budget. Knowing what your income and expenses are will determine your lifestyle.

The length of retirement is also something that should be considered. If you’re 62 today, the IRS figures you’ve got at least another 23 years ahead of you.

To determine how much you will need in savings, do a realistic annual spending budget. Subtract the amount you’re expected to get in Social Security and pensions. Take the remaining unmet needs and multiply that by 25. If you expect to fall short, start looking at all other option like working longer, living cheaper or saving more.

You now have decided you need to save more, so start looking at investment options as the rate of interest earned does make a difference. If you have $50,000 in savings, and you earn 5 percent a year on that money, you’ll run out of money in 14 years if you withdraw $400 a month.

If you can earn 10 percent a year on $50,000, you can withdraw $400 a month forever. Thus the value of learning about investing can be worth more than a part-time job with minimum wages.

In summary, a little bit more savings, a little bit less spending, some lifestyle decisions down the road (sell the house, move to a cheaper home or state, give up the car, etc.) could make the difference for you.

Keeping track of your money seems so logical and easy; however, in the United States there is over $25 Billion in unclaimed property. This is money and property (excluding land) that people have forgotten about. It is possible that you have money waiting to be found and claimed. Do a free money search to find out if you are one of the nine out of ten Americans who have money being held by the state.

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