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Financial Planning

More than half of American workers surveyed (57%) recently said they believe they will need to work longer than they had originally anticipated in order to fund their retirements. Only 15% believe that they are well on their way to meeting their ideal retirement date.1

What's more, a full 50% of Americans are not confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, although 71% feel that they will have enough to cover basic expenses. Yet only 59% report that they are currently saving for retirement.2

While these results can be discouraging, it's important to realize that in your personal preparation, you don't have to become another statistic. Try to think about what you can do, prior to retirement, to be able to get by during your later years. Here are some tips to help you reach your retirement goals.
  • Contribute as much as you can afford to your retirement accounts. For 401(k) and 403(b) plans, the maximum annual employee contribution in 2011 is $16,500. In 2012, it rises to $17,000. Workers aged 50 and older can contribute an additional $5,500. Keep in mind that these are federal maximums and your employer can impose lower limits. If you do not have access to an employer-sponsored plan, or already contribute the maximum, consider funding an IRA. The maximum contribution for 2011 and 2012 is $5,000, plus an additional $1,000 for investors aged 50 and older.
  • Consider lifestyle choices that could potentially make a big difference. Downsizing from your current residence into a smaller home could allow you to save on your mortgage payments and property taxes. Paying down your credit card debt and any other high-interest loans can also have a big impact.
  • Prepare to work longer, at least part time. The notion that the work "spigot" simply turns off once you turn 65 is a myth. Many senior citizens work well into their 70s and 80s. In fact, 92% of all seniors who work say they do so because they want to stay involved and stay active.2 Working longer can have additional benefits, such as providing access to health insurance.
  • Consult with a professional. A financial advisor can help you determine how much you need to invest prior to retirement to live comfortably during your later years. Having a retirement savings goal -- and an expert in your corner -- may help you stay focused on how much you need to accumulate and what you need to do to pursue your goal.
1Source: Aviva USA, Aviva Consumer Attitudes to Savings, February 2011.
2Source: Employee Benefit Resource Institute, 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey, March 2011.

LPL Compliance # 724951

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