12 Essential Steps To Help Keep Your Retirement Strategy On Track. Additionally, only 18% of those actively saving for retirement say they are feeling very confident in their ability to live a comfortable life after retiring. Below, 12 Forbes Finance Council members share their expert advice on what steps any working American should take to ensure their retirement strategy is on track and to feel secure about their financial future. Don't Be An Ostrich With Your Head In The Sand As much as you may not like the answer, start using a tool that projects your retirement income. If your retirement income projection meets your current take-home pay and you're content with your lifestyle, you're in a good shape, so stay the course. Develop A Simple Strategy The idea of retirement preparedness warrants a high level of consideration. - Darryl Lyons, PAX Financial Group LLC 8. You need to get good at saving and investing. A certified financial planner can put a strategy in writing that you can understand. Find Ways To Consistently Save After paying off your housing, food, travel and other expenses each month, do you manage to consistently save money?
It’s an unfortunate fact that many seniors struggle financially in retirement, whether due to inadequate savings or higher-than-anticipated expenses, like healthcare. If you’re looking for a few surefire ways to give your retirement income a much-needed boost, here are some options to explore.
1. Work a few extra years, and max out your retirement plan contributions
One of the easiest ways to boost your retirement income is to work longer and use your extra earnings to build up your IRA or 401(k). Currently, workers 50 and over can contribute up to $6,500 a year to an IRA and $24,000 a year to a 401(k). If you’re not offered the latter, maxing out the former option for three years will add about $20,000 to your nest egg, even if your investments during that period deliver a conservative 3% return. Just as importantly, working a few more years will allow you to hold off on tapping your savings, thus making them last even longer.
2. Delay Social Security as long as possible
Your Social Security benefits are based on what you earned during your working years, but you have the power to lower or raise those benefits depending on when you first claim them. If you file for Social Security at full retirement age, which, for today’s older workers, is 66, 67, or somewhere in between, you’ll collect your benefits in full. You can take benefits as early as age 62, but doing so will reduce them for life. On the other hand, if you delay benefits past your full retirement age, you’ll get an 8% boost for each year you hold off up until age 70. This means that someone with a full monthly benefit of $1,500 and a full retirement age of 67 can increase those payments to $1,860 — for life — just by waiting a few extra years.
3. Collect bond interest
Seniors are often advised to shift some of their investments into bonds, since they’re considerably less volatile than stocks. But there’s another benefit to holding bonds in your portfolio, and it’s that they typically make interest payments twice a year, which means you’ll have a fairly reliable income stream when you need it…