Consider health care
One area many people don't consider in their retirement planning is medical costs.
Often, younger workers assume that Medicare covers everything, but it doesn't.
After the age of 65, the average couple will spend about $260,000 out of pocket on health care, including insurance premiums and nursing home care, according to a 2010 study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
"The problem is most households don't have $260,000 in the first place," says Webb. "What it means is that in practical terms, a lot of households face the risk of impoverishment or ending up on Medicaid."
Prepare to work longer
Many of today's "retirees" are staying in or rejoining the workforce.
For some, it's a financial necessity. For others, it's a chance to pursue interests or careers they put off in their younger years. And for many, it can be a combination of both.
"And maybe the nature of retirement is changing," says Webb. "It's less of a clean break."
Postponing Social Security payments or retirement account withdrawals often means you'll get more when you do tap those sources.
For those retiring over the next few years, delaying collecting Social Security from 62 to 70 can mean a 76 percent increase in benefits, says Webb.
Two factors may force workers to retire earlier than expected: late-in-life job loss and health problems, he says.
Seniors face a greater risk of having to leave the working world because of health, and also of "being prematurely ejected from the workforce," says Webb.
Think beyond the money
When you're planning and saving for your golden years, don't hesitate to think beyond the money.
Throughout your working life, "Keep your eye on the next job, and prepare so that (your) skills are what employers are seeking," says Rix.
It also doesn't hurt to be a little entrepreneurial, says Martin Yate, author of "Knock 'Em Dead: Secrets and Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World."
If you find something that gives you joy, stick with it, he says. Figure that in time, "I will learn how to make a buck," Yate says. "And in my 50s and 60s, I will either have a little business on the side or be prepared to launch one."
And if your needs and interests change or get refined as the decades go by, that's OK, says Yate.
Whatever your entrepreneurial dreams, you'll be using and sharpening many of the same transferrable skills you use in your "day job," he says. "It will help you be successful."
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Global defense and wars are very costly. Prior to Iraq, the Social Security surplus extended for decades - that was shortened a lot due to Iraq costs. Vote for people that talk about AMERICA mostly, not those obsessed with the Middle East, Mexico and China. Vote for people that support fixing the U.S. infrastructure, not those obsessed with Israel, Korea, Vietnam, etc.
Jobs - our economy and future is driven by jobs and consumer spending. Vote for people that relate jobs to our trade policies. NAFTA has been a disaster for U.S. jobs, a boon for Mexico. "Free" trade has accelerated the growth (economic and military) of communist china greatly. Trade policies should favor U.S. citizens FIRST, not focus on "global growth".
One very important goal is to live within your means, don't charge anything you can't afford to pay off at the end of the month with the exception of a house or maybe a car. Don't think you have to drive a new car, a good used car will get you from point A to point B just as well; you can find good deals on reliable used cars but you have to LOOK FOR THEM. I have not paid interest on a credit card for more than 30 years.
When you invest money in IRA's or 401K's try to develop a good balanced mix of stocks and bonds, readjust it when things start to get lopsided. The most important thing is NEVER SELL into a downturn, markets go up and they go down - you have not lost a dime until you sell. Keep any money you will need for the next 3 or 4 years in cash, you never want to sell stocks just to raise cash in a down market - that is an easy way to lose money. I'm in my late 60's and I still have about 60%b of my investments in stocks because that is where the money is as long as you don't have to sell them to raise money in a downturn.
When you start to think you are ready for retirement, live on the money you will get from your SS and any pension you might be getting for a full year. If you can live on that money you should have retired earlier. If you can't you will know how much money you have to take from savings every month the cover things and then you can judge if you need to save more before retiring.
I retired in the spring of 2009 with SS and a small ($500 a month) pension. I own my home outright and I live a pretty simple life, if it wasn't for RE taxes I would be flush but the SS and pension still cover all of my expenses.
Start saving early and you should do fine.
If you have paid into Social Security, you are entitled to payment when you retire. You are not entitled to a raise every year or so for any reason. Social Security is meant to keep you out of poverty, not pay for every convenience life has to offer.
Rule #2-Double Tap
Rule #3-Beware of Bathrooms
Rule #4-Check the back seat
see Zombieland for the rest and remember
Rule #32-Enjoy the little things!
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Some workers lose up to a quarter of their paychecks paying off old debt from credit cards, medical bills and student loans, as well as child support.