Did you know only 52% of Americans invest in the stock market? The reasons for this are varied, from fear after the market crash of 2007-2008, the current market unpredictability, to a lack of understanding/fear. Since 1995 though, the S&P 500 has risen 7.8% a year on average. At that rate, someone starting with $1,000 and putting just $100 a month into a fund indexed to the S&P would after 35 years have $227,078 — enough to generate an added $17,000 a year of income in retirement.
How much will be enough? It’s a common enough question to ask when saving for retirement. How much will I need? Is, unfortunately, a complex question without an easy answer as each person asking it will have a totally different backstory and portfolios.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Baby Boomers lately. Not surprising considering this huge generation is reaching retirement age in a very different economic climate than their parents. In fact, 10,000 Boomers are turning 65 every day. Boomers, as a group, will be retiring with more debt than their parents, be it credit card, education, or a mortgage. On top of that, the cost of living has jumped significantly in the last few decades, with housing up 21% in the last three years alone, food up 26% in the last ten years. Medical costs even for those over 65 who qualify for Medicare have increased as well. What that means for retiring Boomers, as this is a population who has the potential, through lifestyle and advances in medicine, to live well into their eighties, nineties, and hundreds, is that they should go over the following checklist of financial goals.
For a lot of us working and saving and planning for retirement, how we will pay for our healthcare, is probably not at the top of our list. This may be in part because of Medicare. Medicare is a social program started in 1965 to insure the American population over the age of 65, who found it difficult to impossible to secure health insurance in their later years. In 1965 the life expectancy was 70 years old. Since then, people have started living a lot longer, and one of the main reasons for that is the use of medications, technology, and surgeries to prolong life and health. A longer life with more medical intervention also costs a lot more which is why Medicare is about 14% of the total federal budget and in 2018, ran up a $583 billion-dollar bill.
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