ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. (4/14/15)--While many Americans might feel confident in their ability to support themselves after they retire, thousands will reach the age of 65 without adequate financial preparation (CNBC, April 2).
It's never too early--or too late--to focus on retirement savings. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimates that you need about 70% of preretirement income to maintain your lifestyle in retirement.
If you're in your 20s, the center advises that you start saving 10% of your pay annually and gradually increase that percentage over time.
If you start at age 45 and hope to retire at 65, the center estimates that you'll need to save 27% of your income each year. If you can put off retirement to age 70, that number drops to 10%.
For those who are starting even later, there are different ways to attain a worry-free retirement: work longer, start a small business, freelance, look for less-costly living situations and/or locations, and find ways to reduce other expenditures.
Between the ages of 21 and 30, the cost of education is the major hurdle as the long process of student loan repayment begins. Focus on saving and debt management to keep financial stress out of the picture;
Between the ages of 30 and 45, home ownership allows you to build equity as you pay down your mortgage. In addition to building equity in your home, focus on growing your retirement savings; and
After the age of 45, increase contributions toward retirement savings while reducing budget expenses. Downsize your credit card debt as well.
To stay on track, seek advice from a credit union certified financial counselor or from counselors at the NFCC. For online tools, search "sharpen your financial focus" and "my retirement paycheck."
Follow the NFCC on Facebook and Twitter for daily tips during Retirement Planning Week, which runs through Friday.
For related information, read "Who Goes First? For Couples, Retirement is all About Timing" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.