A DISTURBING TREND: RETIRING BEFORE YOU WANT TO

#retirement #RetirementPlanning #layoffs #buyouts
It’s an alarming trend, a letter writer wrote.
People in their 50s are getting laid off, he continues. The workers may get an optional early-retirement package which, if not taken, leads to a layoff a short time later, he continues.
Or, he says, it may mean becoming a contract worker making half the money with fewer, and more expensive to you, benefits. “A friend who refused a package last year will retire with much less this month because of shortsightedness,” he writes.
The letter writer signed his missive “B.” He wrote the letter to Peter Dunn, the USA Today columnist known as “Pete the Planner.” His column was also published March 4, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
To sum up Pete’s response, he advises: “Draw a horizontal line on a piece of paper, and create a series of hash marks on the line, representing future age markers. Next, list major life events on the timeline. Be sure to note events such as your mortgage payoff year, when you reach age 59.5 (when retirement funds become available) and when you hit 62 (the first chance to activate Social Security). …
“When I drew my line, I noticed my need for money peaked at age 53,” Pete continues. “If I were to lose my job at or around 53 years old, I would be in big trouble. Therefore, I want to be sure not to take on any additional obligations around that time in my life. Knowing when you’re the most at risk is a reasonable way to avoid additional risks,” Pete writes.
He goes on to say that the age timeline will help people evaluate any early buyout options.
This topic is trending at a rapid pace. Pete advises that retiring at a normal age, with “normal” benefits etc., is challenging enough. Retiring early because one is forced to can be torture, he writes.
Planning is obviously a wise decision, but the best laid plans can go awry when you least expect them, or want them, to. So, we are in a milieu in which we have to PRESUME that we will not be able to work at our current jobs for as long as we want. Reorganizations will come frequently. Bad managers will come into your life and throw you out – or force you to leave on your own.
The age-old advice is to spend less and save more, as consumer adviser Clark Howard preaches. If you “have to have” the latest, up-to-date gadgets, think about whether your current gadgets are serving you well. A rule of thumb might be: if a new gadget will give me pleasure, and is not a necessity of life, postpone buying it and live with the older technology. When the old stuff craps out, then replace it.
If you have, say, a daily habit of buying a cup of coffee in the morning, you might think about buying a Thermos and brewing your own coffee to take with you.
In other words, examine the little things you do in life that cost you money. Do you really need to spend it? Remember, too, to think value rather than price. Sometimes, buying better stuff up front will keep you from buying multiple cheap things later on.
Finally, if you are planning your financial life as best you can, but you don’t think it will be enough when you get shown the door at work, think about investing a few part-time, off-work hours in something that may not only augment your income, but could surpass it. There are many such vehicles out there. To check out one of the best, message me.
Meanwhile, draw the diagram Pete suggests. This is especially good for folks who are less careful about their spending. Save well. Invest well – or as best you can – with a good, trusted adviser.
In today’s world, for many people, retirement decisions, unfortunately, are made FOR them by others. Be prepared for that decision to be made for you, as early as tomorrow, no matter how old you are.
Peter

PENSIONS, RETIREMENT AND DECUMULATION?

#pensions #retirement #decumulation #MoneyandTime
The news stories appeared next to each other on the same day.
One headline read, “As pension plans fade, workers find retirement more elusive.” The story, written by Peter Whorisky for The Washington Post, talks about how pension plans are on the decline and workers are increasingly dependent on their own savings for retirement.
The second headline read, “Why you should resolve to spend more money.” The story, written by Suzanne Woolley for Bloomberg News, talks about how retirees who have diligently saved and invested for their retirement, should consciously decide to spend down some of those savings after years of frugality.
Both stories were published Jan. 28, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The obvious question here: what retirement position are you in, and is it the right place for you?
Many can relate to the former. Perhaps they were promised a pension by their employer when they were hired, but that pension is no longer offered. Or, perhaps the pension benefit disappeared.
Perhaps not nearly as many can relate to the latter. If you are fortunate enough to have a good retirement nest egg, by all means, enjoy it. Do what you like to do. But, as any financial adviser would tell you, it’s best to take out the dividends, interest and other earnings your money produces first. A good rule: if you never touch your principal, you will never outlive your money. So, spend, but spend with some care.
Retirement didn’t used to be this complicated. In decades past, one was hired for a job and, if they stayed out of trouble, showed up every day and did what was expected of them for many years, they could count on retirement benefits.
They would get whatever pension their employers gave, combined it with Social Security and, perhaps, some savings and/or a no-stress, part-time job that provided some pocket money.
To live in such a retirement, one had to spend carefully. Perhaps they had enough to enjoy some hobbies, travel, spoil grandchildren etc. But most had to watch how they spent their money. You may have heard the pleas of, “we’re on a fixed income, you know.”
Hopefully, by this time, their mortgages were paid off and there were very few other debts.
Contrast that with today. Job security is non-existent. Pensions, as the article says, are not offered to as many people. Many don’t have a great deal of savings for retirement, and perhaps have vowed to work until they die – or until their employer forces them to leave.
The “fixed incomes” of many fortunate retirees is greater than those of many of the younger, working cohort that’s helping to fund their parents’ Social Security payments.
The part-time “retirement” jobs many are forced to take involve longer-than-desired hours, much stress and take away whatever fun retirement might offer.
There is some good news in all this. There are many ways people can earn potentially good incomes by spending a few hours a week – and have some fun doing it. The good news: it doesn’t involve taking a second, or “retirement,” part-time job. To check out one of the best, message me.
If you are young, you can think about doing this using some time when you aren’t working at your traditional job. If you are diligent, you could be in the position of having a comfortable, spendable nest egg when you retire, and have the kind of decision the second article features.
If you are retired, either by choice or force, time is on your side, and you may find a less stressful way to earn an income.
So think about your retirement position today, and bear in mind that what you were promised, or what you thought you might get, may not be there. Build enough of a nest egg, however you choose to, so you won’t have to “work until you die.”
Peter

WORK UNTIL YOU ARE 70? REALLY?

#SuzeOrman #WorkUntilAge70 #retirement
Suze Orman has made a fine career of giving retirement and other financial advice.
But when she advises people to work until age 70, Wes Moss, who writes the Money Matters column in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and also has a radio show of the same name on WSB AM, begs to differ.
Moss discussed the matter in a Nov. 7, 2017, column.
Certainly, medical advances and the like have made living longer possible. Some folks may even enjoy their work to the point of never thinking about giving it up. Others may believe that the longer they are able to keep working, the better off they will be financially.
Moss points out that the latter is pretty much Orman’s philosophy. He quotes an old joke in financial circles: “How do you never run out of money for retirement? Work until you die,” Moss writes.
In Moss’ mind, perhaps the most important reason for not setting 70 as a retirement age is that “you may lose the sweet spot of your retirement – the years when you are healthy and active enough to live out your post-career dreams to the fullest,” he writes.
Certainly, the Social Security Administration has inched up the “full retirement” age to 67 from 65, where it was for decades. But Moss points to a Bloomberg News article that says Americans are retiring later, dying sooner and are sicker in between.
Here’s something else Moss points out: companies largely do not want older workers around. Younger workers are generally cheaper. So, even as workers approach middle age, they become vulnerable to being forced out of their jobs for one reason or another.
If you are among those who are nearing retirement, and don’t have lots of money saved, take heart. There are many ways out there you can make money in your spare time, say, a couple hours a week, without taking a second W-2 job, or working overtime (if available) in your first job. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
In short, unless you really love your job, think about retiring as soon as you are able. If you can foresee your job going away before you want it to, take measures to soften the blow when it comes. If you do the right things – spend less without depriving yourself, save more money, invest well etc. – you might even be able to walk out of your job with a smile.
As Moss says, you shouldn’t make it a goal to sacrifice the best years of your retirement by working those extra years. And, once you do retire, you shouldn’t waste time sitting at home, and not venturing out of your comfort zone. Have dreams. Fulfill them. Retire with no prejudices, no pretenses and no burdensome obligations.
That isn’t to say that there are some jobs that are so great, you don’t want to give them up unless you have to. But, chances are, no matter how good you are at what you do, eventually your employer is going to want you gone.
If you’re lucky, when your employer wants you gone, he or she will offer you a package to leave. If you get an offer like that, remember that few people who take them ultimately regret that decision. If you are being paid to leave, the message you should hear is that the employer want you out.
So, if you are a Suze Orman devotee, remember that not everyone agrees that one should work until he or she is 70. A better philosophy might be this: when is the SOONEST I can retire? Once you’ve determined that, think about not only how you are going to pull it off financially, but also what you will do with your new-found time.
Work, dream, save and retire.
Peter

WHICH SIDE OF THE QUADRANT DO YOU WANT TO BE ON?

#CashFlowQuadrant #RobertKiyosaki #employee #BusinessOwner #investor
The Cash Flow Quadrant.
The concept was created by Robert Kiyosaki, author of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series, among other works.
Basically, Kiyosaki divides all of us, financially, of course, into one of four squares, forming a quadrant. In the two squares on the left side are the people who work hard for their money. In the two squares on the right side are the people who have systems or money that work hard for them.
Let’s look at the left side. The top quadrant is labeled E, for employee. Here are the people who have jobs in which they work hard to make someone else rich. These folks basically trade their time and effort for dollars. The amount of money they get depends on what someone else is willing to give them.
The second quadrant on the left side is labeled S, for solo practitioner, or self-employed, depending on how you look at it. These folks, too, trade their time and effort for dollars, but the amount they get paid can depend on how much time they want to put in, and how much in demand their service is. Though they pay themselves, largely, few of these folks get rich. Hopefully, they are able to set aside some money for insurance, retirement etc.
Moving to the right side of the quadrant, the top square is labeled B, for business owner. Kiyosaki said his “rich dad” called this quadrant B for big business or Bill Gates. Kiyosaki defines a big business as having 500 employees or more.
“Unlike the S, they don’t want to run the company by themselves. They want smart people to run the company for them,” Kiyosaki writes.
The B folks also could have large networks that can help them put gobs of money in their pockets. They may not own a large, bricks-and-mortar business, but they have big organizations that they’ve cultivated, and not only get rich themselves, but do so by helping others get rich in the process.
The fourth square in the quadrant is I, for investor. These are the folks who’ve accumulated lots of money, and are watching it grow exponentially through investing. Think of the “Sharks” on the TV show, “Shark Tank,” as a good example of people who are I’s.
Obviously, the object of the economy, as we in the U.S. know it, is to move more people from the left side of the quadrant to the right side.
Easier said than done, you might ask? Obviously, one can’t move freely from the left to the right. Certain things have to happen – or, better yet, YOU have to make certain things happen.
First and foremost, a person must WANT to move from the left to the right. That desire must be powerful enough to make him do whatever it takes to move – and take however long it takes to move.
Wealth accumulation requires discipline and sacrifice. You might have to give up some of life’s pleasures to get where you want to be. Take your lumps now, and take your pleasure later, as it were. It also, often, requires patience. Sure, there are some folks who inherit a lot of money and become instant investors. Big lottery winners can become instant investors, but often don’t have the discipline to do so. Therefore, many just spend their winnings until they run out of money.
You can also spend years toiling on the left side of the quadrant, putting away a little at a time and never touching it. That requires a good deal of patience.
So, how do you get from the left to the right side of the quadrant in your current situation? You may not need 500 employees, but if you have a big enough desire to move, there are many vehicles that can potentially get you there. To learn about one of the best, message me.
Meanwhile, if you are among those who criticize those who have more money than you, and you continue to toil on the left side of the quadrant, you may need an attitude adjustment, f you want to go to the other side. You may also need a big-enough desire to join, rather than beat, those you now criticize.
A move to the right side of the quadrant could be possible if you BELIEVE you can get there.
Peter

FEAR OF RETIREMENT

#retirement #FearOfRetirement #boredom #RetirementFinancing
Are you afraid of retirement?
Does the thought of not working anymore create anxiety?
Are you postponing retirement, even though you know you should retire, because of your fear?
There may be lots of reasons people fear retirement. The biggest, perhaps, is financial. Perhaps loss of a paycheck would crush you. Perhaps you haven’t saved enough, and your pension, if you are lucky enough to have one, plus Social Security may not be enough for you to live the way you want.
Another fear may be boredom. You may say things like, “what am I going to do with myself?” Perhaps you don’t have a hobby or hobbies to occupy your time. Perhaps you fear what you might become by just hanging out, day in and day out.
Retirement experts have advice on both counts. Most say that retirement without the financial backing would be difficult. One way to determine whether you have enough to retire on is to look at your savings. Without touching your principal, are the dividends, interest and capital gains those savings produce, combined with other income such as a pension or Social Security, be enough for you to live on?
When we talk about “living” in retirement, it should be more than just survival. You should be able to have the money to do things you like to do, perhaps things you never had time to do while you were working.
If you think about this while you are young, you can plan accordingly. If you are older, and are at or close to a reasonable retirement age, and believe you won’t be financially secure in retirement, you may as well keep working as long as your employer will keep you. Remember, though, that you could walk into work one day, and be shown the door.
Let’s examine the time factor. If you believe you’ll be bored in retirement, there are many activities available to occupy your time. There are countless volunteer opportunities, for example. Before you retire, find an activity that would interest you. There should be no reason anyone has difficulty occupying his time.
There are some solutions that would both occupy your time and give you a potentially great income. To check out one of the best, message me.
In this day and age, retirement decisions are often made FOR people. Employers who reorganize, downsize or otherwise want older workers gone use many tactics to get people to leave. If they don’t leave voluntarily, the employer will find some reason to terminate them. Most employees don’t have recourse against the employer, and most older workers will have trouble finding new employment in their professional fields.
Older workers are supposed to be protected by labor laws, but creative employers will find ways to force them out.
The lesson in all this is that one should prepare for retirement as soon as he starts his career. Unlike decades ago, when job security was more prevalent, there is no real job security in any field today. A worker is one reorganization, or one bad manager, away from a dead career.
If you can work until you want to leave on your terms, you are among the very fortunate. More than likely, your retirement decision will be made for you.
If you are at a good retirement age and fear retirement, you may be wise – especially if you see things in your workplace that seem stacked against you – to retire as soon as you are able. Know that it won’t be hard to find things to occupy your time. In fact, you’ll probably find it amazing that you had time to work.
Peter

WORKING LONGER WILL MAKE YOU SICKER

#RaisingTheRetirementAge #retirement #WorkingLonger #disabilities
The government continues to raise the retirement age.
People are working longer.
Yet, their health continues to decline.
Ben Steverman discussed this in an article for Bloomberg News. It was also published Oct. 24, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“The age-adjusted mortality rate in the U.S. rose 1.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to the Society of Actuaries,” the article reads. “That’s the first year-over-year increase since 2005, and only the second rise greater than 1 percent since 1980,” the article says.
So, Americans are retiring later, dying sooner and are sicker, the article says.
Almost one in three Americans age 65 to 69 is still working, along with almost one in five in their early 70s, the article says.
Americans in their late 50s have more serious health problems than people of those same ages 10 to 15 years ago, according to the article. To boot, cognitive skills have declined. Those with a retirement age of 66, 11 percent already have had some kind of dementia between ages 58 and 60, the article quotes a study by University of Michigan economists HwaJung Choi and Robert Schoeni.
Experts say obesity, high rates of suicide, drug overdoses and alcohol abuse have been cited as causes, the article says.
The higher death rates are good news for pension plans, the article points out.
“Americans may have already seen most of the benefits from previous positive developments that cut the death rate, such as a decline in smoking and medical advances like statins that fight cardiovascular disease,” the article reads.
So are you among the group that feels worse than you think you should for your age? Has the economic downturn of 2008 got you working at a job you hate, when it’s high time for you to retire?
Perhaps a solution to the latter problem may relieve the difficulties of the former. There are many ways to make money beyond a traditional W-2 job – especially one that you hate, or that is making you sick. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
And though pension plans may like this news – the Society of Actuaries calculates a typical pension plan’s obligations could fall by 0.7 to 1 percent , the article says – not everyone is fortunate enough to have a pension.
That puts the onus on every worker to make sure their retirement is not only survivable, but potentially prosperous.
This may entail some thought outside the proverbial box, especially if your employer is not providing you a pension.
If you’re young, start saving your money sooner. Cut out that extra coffee-shop visit or extra meal out, and put that money toward your retirement.
If you are older, not only must you think about how long you WANT to work, but also how long you will BE ABLE to work. It may not be an illness that gets you. You may be one bad manager or one reorganization away from a dead career.
You may not be able to solve health problems, but money problems can be conquered. You just have to have the best life you can, and try to live as long as possible.
Peter

MOST PEOPLE AREN’T SAVING ENOUGH FOR RETIREMENT

#retirement #pensions #savings
Most everyone knows or suspects that people aren’t saving enough for a decent retirement.
But a World Economic Forum report spells it out: People are living longer. Investment returns have been disappointing. Therefore, within three decades there will be a $400 trillion shortfall worldwide in retirement savings.
The report was cited in an article by Katherine Chiglinsky for Bloomberg News. It was published June 4, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The shortfall includes a $224 trillion gap among the six large pension-savings systems: the U.S., U.K., Japan, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia, the article quotes the report.
Employers have been moving away from pensions and offering defined-contribution plans, which include 401(k)s, and individual retirement accounts. Those categories make up about 50 percent of global retirement assets, Chiglinksy writes.
The report warned that the savings shortfall in the U.S. is growing at a rate of $3 trillion a year, and may climb at an annual rate of 7 percent in China and 10 percent in India – countries with aging populations, growing middle classes and a higher percentage of workers in informal sectors, Chiglinsky writes.
So, how are you set for your retirement?
Have you got a pension lined up? If so, it’s entirely possible that it won’t be there when you are ready to take it, or it could be reduced.
Social Security by itself won’t let you live a decent life. And, if Washington doesn’t act, benefits could be reduced eventually. Many experts say we needn’t fear that Social Security will go away entirely. But benefit reductions are a possibility in a few decades.
Think of your retirement planning this way: if it is to be, it’s up to ME.
If you are young, and just starting your career, make retirement savings a priority. If you aren’t raking in big bucks, start with a small percentage of what you are making. Put that money away. Don’t touch it!
Once your savings have grown to an investible amount, say, a few thousand dollars, get it out of your bank savings account and put it into something that will pay you higher rates. Get good advice from a financial planner that you trust. You may want to start with fairly safe – everything outside of insured bank deposits carry some risk – investments, and diversify more as your money grows.
If you are older, you need to put more of what you earn into retirement savings. Young folks have lots of time to balance gains and losses. Middle-aged folks have much less time. Talk to a financial planner about you goals, and let him or her guide you as to how much to save, and in what vehicles to invest.
Of course, cutting spending is a must. Increasing income may give you a leg up on your retirement savings. To learn about one of best vehicles for doing both, message me.
In short, you can take matters into your own hands. It’s all about setting priorities, making good choices and sticking to your plan.
Whatever you sacrifice now, be it $100 a month in lattes, taking too many expensive trips etc., will pay you back in spades when your job goes away. And you don’t have to live in complete deprivation to do it.
Just look for value in what you buy, and make good choices in how you save.
Peter

DO WHAT YOU LOVE; LOVE WHAT YOU DO

#DoWhatYouLove #LoveWhatYouDo #BuildALife
If it weren’t work, they wouldn’t pay you for it.
If you do what you love, you’ll never work again.
You work so you can have the things you want in life.
Instead of building a life around income-producing activities, build a life – then figure out how to make money.
All of these axioms are true. Depending on the type of person you are, some ring truer than the others. If you hate your job, the first and third ring especially true. If you love your job, the second one probably fits you. If you are among the few who’ve looked for, and found, ways to produce income WITHOUT having a traditional or typical “job,” the fourth statement can be your mantra.
As the job scene changes, we don’t have the luxury of reliving the past. We have to find a way to deal with what is today. The economic downturn of 2008 changed a lot of lives. Some people’s jobs were lost and will never return. Those who stayed employed may have found their jobs have changed – probably forever.
If the first axiom rings true for you, and you lost your job, you are probably out pounding the pavement looking for another one. If you’ve found another one, you are lucky. If you are still looking years later, perhaps a new strategy is needed. You may have to figure out what your skills are, and figure out how to parlay those skills into a business of your own. When you own your own business, no one can fire you, or lay you off. However, you can do it to yourself if you give up on it too soon. If you need an immediate income, you may have to resort to finding a different job, even if it pays less – and most do – than you had made previously.
START YOUR OWN BUSINESS
If you’ve saved well, invested well and were wise about how you’ve lived – and have lost your job — you may now have the luxury of starting a business and staying with it until it succeeds. If you do this successfully, the second axiom could ring true to you. If you have a business, you’d better love what you do, or learn to love it, because it will take the routine out of your previous life. It could consume you, especially if it is either wildly successful, or a real struggle to keep afloat. Remember that being in business for yourself involves more than just doing what you do. You have to market yourself, and find ways to let others know you are out there and available for them. That may not come easily to most, but it’s vital to your success.
If you are working, and don’t think your job will ever disappear, remember we are in an age in which companies reorganize often. You might want to take to heart the fourth axiom. Look around for any number of ways to produce income. To learn about one of the best vehicles for that, message me.
You can set up an income stream without it interfering with what you are doing now. Never believe that you’ll always be able to work at a job on YOUR terms. Try to make yourself “retirement ready,” even if you are young and believe you have a lot of good years left.
Who knows? You might be so successful at your part-time gig, you’ll have forgotten how much you loved your old job. Remember, too, that anything good requires some effort. Starting now to build a part-time income can reap big rewards later. You may even have fun doing it!
Work is changing. So are the ways people can make money. No matter your situation, look to leverage your time and income to build the life you’ve always wanted.

Peter

NOT BUYING LUNCH CAN CREATE $90,000

#LunchMoney #savings #retirement
On average, Americans eat out lunch twice a week.
It could be more than that, if you buy your lunch at work every day.
The average American forks over $11.14 twice a week for lunch, according to a Visa survey.
If a person skipped that meal – or made or brought his own lunch – and redirected that money into an investment account earning 6 percent, he’d have an estimated nest egg of $88,500 30 years later.
These numbers were quoted in an article by Adam Shell for USA Today, also published in the June 8, 2017, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
OK, sometimes dining out for any meal is a nice treat. And, one does not want to live a life of deprivation.
But if you are having trouble saving for retirement, or you believe you don’t have the money to do so, perhaps one can find the money in places he never thought to look.
As a child, if your parents gave you an allowance, it usually was meant to teach you how to make the most of your money.
If you got a weekly allowance, did your spending habits cause you to run out of money before your next allowance installment?
Ask the same thing, now that you are an adult, about your paycheck. Are you accustomed to cashing the check and spending the money until you run out? Put another way, how much of your money do you spend without first giving it a thought?
Some people are well off in retirement because they had a great job, with great benefits and a great pension plan or 401(k). Others have a nice retirement because, from the beginning of adulthood, they earned a paycheck, and knew where every cent was going. These folks also made sure that a certain percentage went into savings.
Once they saved enough money, perhaps they parlayed it into a house, which, for them, was probably a good investment. As they kept saving, they then began to invest in other things so that, when they reached retirement, they didn’t have to worry how they were going to live.
The younger you start this process, the more you will have when you get older.
So, let’s pose the question again: is skipping a couple of lunches out every week worth close to $90,000? Some might say that $90,000 won’t go far in retirement, which is true. But eating lunch at home, or bringing your own lunch to work, is just one way to build a bigger nest egg, even if your job is hardly lucrative.
Another way is to use some of your non-work time to find, and work on, other great ways to make extra money. There are many such vehicles out there that don’t involve taking a second job. To check out one of the best, message me. Perhaps you will also find other ways to save money, besides not buying lunch.
So, it is possible to have a nice retirement, even though your income is hardly a rich person’s tally. You may have to do without some things that give you a moment of pleasure. Naturally, don’t cut ALL fun out of your life, but just take great care in your spending habits. Perhaps you could not only bring your own homemade lunch to work, you could brew and Thermos your own coffee.
Then, you have to be disciplined enough to put that money into safe savings at the start. As your nest egg grows, you can graduate into investing, without being overly aggressive at first. Then, as the money grows you can parlay it into more diversified investing – all with the help of a trusted adviser.
So, to borrow from Stephen Sondheim, here’s to the ladies (and gentlemen) who lunch – without spending $11 a pop.
Peter

RETIREMENT SAVINGS SHORTFALL PREDICTED

#retirement #savings #RetirementSavingsShortfall
Most everyone knows or suspects that people aren’t saving enough for a decent retirement.
But a World Economic Forum report spells it out: People are living longer. Investment returns have been disappointing. Therefore, within three decades there will be a $400 trillion shortfall worldwide in retirement savings.
The report was cited in an article by Katherine Chiglinsky for Bloomberg News. It was published June 4, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The shortfall includes a $224 trillion gap among the six large pension-savings systems: the U.S., U.K., Japan, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia, the article quotes the report.
Employers have been moving away from pensions and offering defined-contribution plans, which include 401(k)s, and individual retirement accounts. Those categories make up about 50 percent of global retirement assets, Chiglinksy writes.
The report warned that the savings shortfall in the U.S. is growing at a rate of $3 trillion a year, and may climb at an annual rate of 7 percent in China and 10 percent in India – countries with aging populations, growing middle classes and a higher percentage of workers in informal sectors, Chiglinsky writes.
So, how are you set for your retirement?
Have you got a pension lined up? If so, it’s entirely possible that it won’t be there when you are ready to take it, or it could be reduced.
Social Security by itself won’t let you live a decent life. And, if Washington doesn’t act, benefits could be reduced eventually. Many experts say we needn’t fear that Social Security will go away entirely. But benefit reductions are a possibility in a few decades.
Think of your retirement planning this way: if it is to be, it’s up to ME.
If you are young, and just starting your career, make retirement savings a priority. If you aren’t raking in big bucks, start with a small percentage of what you are making. Put that money away. Don’t touch it!
Once your savings have grown to an investible amount, say, a few thousand dollars, get it out of your bank savings account and put it into something that will pay you higher rates. Get good advice from a financial planner that you trust. You may want to start with fairly safe – everything outside of insured bank deposits carry some risk – investments, and diversify more as your money grows.
If you are older, you need to put more of what you earn into retirement savings. Young folks have lots of time to balance gains and losses. Middle-aged folks have much less time. Talk to a financial planner about you goals, and let him or her guide you as to how much to save, and in what vehicles to invest.
Of course, cutting spending is a must. Increasing income may give you a leg up on your retirement savings. To learn about one of best vehicles for doing both, message me.
In short, you can take matters into your own hands. It’s all about setting priorities, making good choices and sticking to your plan.
Whatever you sacrifice now, be it $100 a month in lattes, taking too many expensive trips etc., will pay you back in spades when your job goes away. And you don’t have to live in complete deprivation to do it.
Just look for value in what you buy, and make good choices in how you save.

Peter