When you began planning for retirement, you may have set a savings goal based upon a particular amount of money that you wanted to save. But as your expected retirement date grows closer, you may be worried that you haven’t met your goal. In that case, you have two choices if you don’t want to keep working any longer: Change your retirement income goal, or find a creative strategy that allows you to retire on time.
One way to change your retirement income goal is to accept a more conservative lifestyle. If you would rather retire when you had expected, you may be able to reduce your living expenses. Perhaps you can sell your home and move to a less expensive one, retire to an area with a lower cost of living, or give up some luxuries like vacations or extra vehicles. This might be the best course of action if you need to retire for health reasons.
If you’re simply burned out with your career, but have yet to meet your retirement goal, you might consider taking on a part-time job in retirement. You could make enough money to boost the income you will receive from your retirement account. If you simply need a little extra money, this is a good option. But of course, you may need to quit your part time job due to health reasons one day. So plan ahead, and be sure you can cover your living expenses if that happens.
If you haven’t yet met your retirement income goal, the most obvious strategy is to simply delay retirement and keep working. You can continue to make tax-deferred contributions to build up your retirement income fund. And don’t forget to take advantage of additional catch-up contributions for workers aged 50 and older! In just a few more years, you may have bolstered your retirement savings by a significant amount. You’ll also shorten the length of time you will be living off of that savings, so you may be able to enjoy a higher standard of living in retirement.
If you do choose to delay your retirement, you can earn a bigger Social Security check each month. Working beyond your full retirement age (65 to 67, depending on your year of birth) means checks will be larger once you finally claim your benefits.
If you’re worried about meeting your retirement income goal, talk to your insurance professional. He or she can run a projection of your retirement income, and together you can discuss ways to meet your original goal, or set a new one.
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