More than three-quarters of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck – 78 percent, in fact. They’re covering their monthly expenses, but they lack an emergency fund and aren’t able to save for the long-term either. It’s a precarious way to live, with one unexpected expense having the power to create a financial tailspin. Unfortunately, this isn’t just a concern for workers.
Although the phrase “paycheck to paycheck” tends to refer to working families, retirees can end up in the same risky position. Maybe you’ve planned ahead well enough to know that your retirement income streams will cover your basic expenses, but are you prepared for a rainy day? For a fulfilling and stress-free retirement, you also want to be able to handle emergency expenses and ensure you’re growing your money for the future.
Volatile Markets and the Ongoing Spread of the Virus are Causing Economic Uncertainty
Last week saw the worst week on Wall Street since 2008, as the Dow fell into correction likely due to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, commonly called novel coronavirus. A market correction is a nerve-wracking event for investors, but the current uneasiness in the markets is no cause for panic.
While the spread of COVID-19 is atypical, a market correction is not. In fact, it’s an entirely normal process, and not altogether unexpected after experiencing the longest-running bull market on record. There have been 22 market corrections since 1974, and they are aptly named because the market usually “corrects” itself and returns prices to their longer-term trends. While the coronavirus is likely to cause economic impact into at least the second quarter of 2020, historically, Wall Street’s reaction to these types of epidemics has been short-lived, including in the recent past.
When it comes to retirement, like many things in life, timing is everything.
Across America, many Boomers are wrestling with the question of when to leave the working world behind. Retire too early and you risk outliving your nest egg; wait too long and you may never get to enjoy retirement at all. It’s a complicated decision, to say the least, and one that is causing many would-be retirees to choose inaction – they simply continue to work without tackling the difficult decision of when to stop. Below are four common reasons workers put off making the decision of when to retire.
Fear of Not Having Enough
The sad truth is, many workers aren’t retiring because they are paralyzed by the fear of not having enough money for their monthly expenses. Unfortunately, many of them may be right. Recent data shows that 64 percent of Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement. Many Baby Boomers have spent years planning to rely on whatever they’ll get from Social Security, only to wake up as they near retirement age and realize they should have been supplementing their monthly retirement income with cash savings and smart investments, too.
According to Nationwide Retirement Institute, nearly half of retirees wish they had been better prepared for the taxes they would pay in their retirement years. In fact, a full 25 percent reported paying thousands more than expected. These surprise expenses can be frustrating at best and downright painful at worst, and they’re getting more and more common as retirees rely on tax-deferred options like 401(k) accounts.
If you’ve ever had a retirement conversation with your spouse that left you both frustrated or confused, it may not surprise you to learn that the majority of married couples find themselves misaligned when it comes to financial values and money management. In fact, 43% of couples are not even on the same page about when to retire.
At first glance, it may seem strange that two people living together – possibly for decades – are saving toward divergent timelines. However, money topics, in general, are common sources of frustration in relationships and are often cited as the main factor in divorce. Today, boomers are divorcing at higher numbers than their parents – often called gray divorce - meaning that the money saved for retirement will have to do double duty in order to serve both spouses when they part ways.
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