The oldest of the baby boomers have already retired and an article from the GovExec.com discusses how they are faring. The article is titled “How Baby Boomers are Retiring,” and it provides us with statistics that will give us an idea about how they are coping with life despite the lack of their usual income. These statistics came from a study conducted by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
Based on the article, around 52% of those who are in their retirement age have fully retired. 21% are still working and believe that they will continue to do so until they are past 70. Around 8% say that they need the salary – that is why they are still working. The average age of the first retirees of the baby boomers is a little lower than 60 years old.
It has to be said that a lot of these people retired not really out of choice but because they were unable to get work after being laid off. Most of them are living on their Social Security benefits and they believe that it will suffice to pay for their needs.
It is apparent that most of them did not choose to retire early but are trying to enjoy retirement nevertheless. But while that is true, you have to understand that settling for what you have is not really what you deserve.
What financial problems keep you from your dream retirement
Your financial condition is an important factor in giving you a dream retirement. Regardless of the time between the present and your ideal retirement age, you have to remove certain financial problems that will hinder you from your enjoying retirement. It is ideal that you start as early as possible but even if you have procrastinated until the last minute, here are two important financial problems that you have to work on.
Mounting debt obligations
One of the strongest hindrance to your retirement is your debts. There are many type of debt problems that you may be struggling with right now and you have to deal with them all. It is already a challenge to fit your basic and health expenses within your limited retirement income and benefits. If you add your debt payments, you cannot hope to meet all your needs.
There are two main debts bothering those who are about to retire: mortgages and credit cards. Some of them actually have to give up their homes and decided to live the rest of their lives renting. The latter is also tough to pay off and the frustrating part is, you could have avoided all those credit card debt. If you only put your credit card debt under control, it wouldn’t have been a problem. Imagine the money being wasted on the interest! It could have been going to your retirement plan.
Lack of retirement funds
The second financial problem is the lack of retirement funds. Some of us prioritized paying off debts or spending on things unnecessarily that we failed to grow our retirement money. Remember that the earlier you begin, the more you will end up having to spend when you retire. For instance, if you started saving for retirement, you can contribute $100 a month and that should end up giving you a convenient lifestyle when you grow old. But when you start saving in your 40’s, that monthly contribution may have to be as high as $700 or $800. So start saving for retirement now. Put in as much money as you can.
Steps to help you solve your credit situation to enjoy retirement
While you may think that it is too late for you, that is hardly enough reason to give up altogether. Here are the steps that you should follow in order to save your retirement.
Set up retirement goals. Know what type of life you want to lead in the future. This will give you an idea about how much you need to put aside to live your dream retirement lifestyle.
Choose a debt relief program. You need to get your debts out of the way and that can be helped by a debt relief program. There are debt solutions for retired individuals but why should you wait until it is too late. Work on solving your debts now so that you can maximize the money you can send towards your savings.
Commit to debt elimination. It is really tempting to keep on using your credit cards and incurring more debt but you need to be wise about this. A debt free life is usually preferable not just for the savings but also for the peace of mind that comes with it.
Save for retirement. What little money you can put aside should be sent to your retirement. Don’t be discouraged by the small amount. The important thing is to have money sent away every month. You can always earn more money so that you can grow your savings. And when you finish your debt payments, you can put aside the freed amount and send it to your retirement fund too.
Research your benefits. Lastly, you want to research the benefits that you are entitled to when you retire. You can use the Benefits.gov website to see the various programs that you can get claims from.
If all of these seem overwhelming, get a financial planner. They can help point you to the right direction – even with just one meeting.
Here is a video from CBN.com about how you should be living your life in order for you to retire comfortably and on time.