Ways to Work Towards Happiness in Retirement.

Ways to Work Toward Happiness in Retirement.

The economy is struggling and that is affecting everyone’s financial future. As a result, you must take control of your retirement to ensure that you’ll stay above water when you’re ready to put your feet up and relax.

Here are some things to consider when planning for your retirement:

• Obtain adequate assets before you stop working. Do not rely on company pensions or benefits as your sole income in retirement.

• On average, women live longer than men; many married women outlive their husbands by at least 15 years. Economic decline often occurs after becoming a widow, so women need to prepare to be financially secure for their long lives.

• Outliving your assets is a reality. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), life expectancy in 1952 was 68.6 years old. In 2006, that figure had risen to 77.85 years old. At this rate, this trend will continue because of lifestyle improvements and advances in medical care. It is wise to organize your portfolio so that a portion of your retirement assets cannot be outlived.

• Contribute as much as possible to your 401(k) savings plan. Set the company match as your baseline for your contributions. Then, as finances allow, increase your automatic contribution amount so that you can set your savings on auto-pilot.

• Save early and diversify your assets to seek to maximize the return on your investments for the amount of risk you are willing to take. Keep in mind that diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against market loss.

• Be prepared for changes in retirement. Remember to take inflation, a possible decline in your functional status, medical costs, and the death of a spouse and other changes in your life into account when saving.

• Decisions made before retirement will affect you in your golden years. This includes taking a new job, getting married, getting divorced or having or adopting a child.

• Maintain your job skills to protect your financial security. Your benefits ultimately depend on your ability to make money. By keeping your skills up-to-date, you can better ensure that you are able to work and make money.

* This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes and is not indicative of any investment. Investments involve risks that could result in the loss of principal. There is no guarantee that the strategy illustrated will produce positive investment results. This example assumes payroll deductions of $400 per month for the next 20 years growing at an assumed rate of return of 8.00% (converted to a monthly return), and then compounded monthly.

According to recent government statistics, people age 65 and older have the following incomes:

The median income for people aged 65 or older is $30,193, but there are wide differences within the total group. Approximately 11% have income under $10,000, and roughly 32% have an income of $50,000 or more.

Income differences by age are associated with differences in marital status. Income is highest for married couples, who have a median income more than 2½ times that of non-married persons. Median income is generally lower in older age groups. The striking differences by age are due in part to the disproportionate number of non-married women in older age groups.

In 2014, 85% of married couples and 83.6% of non-married persons aged 65 or older received Social Security benefits. Social Security was the major source of income (providing at least 50% of total income) for 47.8% of married couples and 70.7% of non-married persons aged 65 or older.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Income of the Aged Chartbook 2014; and Income of the Population 55 or older 2014, Released April 2016.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

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Read about just how fast retirement funds are spent to maintain current lifestyles.