The jury is out and the verdict is in: most Americans do not have enough money to retire, say the leading experts. As uncomfortable a proposition as this may seem, sometimes the truth is hard to swallow. It’s not all bad, but it’s not all good, either. We’ll give you the breakdown here.
This past week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average started tanking on investor worries about the Chinese economic meltdown. Such fallout has been long worried about as the toxicity of this Asian government supported an over-inflated market that was certain to burst the bubble at some point. Now that it has, experts are decrying it, with the most common woe being: we have to work more years in our careers lest we end in arrears during our golden years
A very recent Fidelity Investments report found that 55% of Americans do not have enough money to retire set aside. What’s more, 45% of them won’t be able to afford housing or even healthcare during their retirement years.
“Fifty-five percent of Americans are not on track to cover essential expenses in retirement,” says John F. Sweeney, Fidelity Investments executive vice president for retirement and investing strategies. “It’s important to take action. They’re going to have to make changes to their lifestyle whether that is planning to work longer or saving more.”
Boomers are the only generation with a substantial amount of savings set aside, and still that’s not going to be enough to cover their costs, either. A savings rate estimated at just 9.7% leads the pack (boomers) with 8.2% set aside by Xers and only 7.5% set aside by millennials. And, experts also say no generation is investing enough cash either, a number that should be 15% to be healthy.
Stocks are being ignored as well, which experts say provide long term yields in the 6% marker, sometimes as high as 7%. Even when there are slumps, the leading experts agree that in the long term there are still big dividends, and that performance usually outweighs what you would get on bonds alone. But when investors grow antsy, many pull out their funds out instead of sticking to their guns; another error that experts say has helped contribute to this nationwide economic dilemma.
“Take a step back and look at those long-term trends. So when you look at three, five and 10-year trends of stocks, there are very few periods where there are negative returns,” says Sweeney.
So what can you do about it? Look to your financial advisor for advice and assess your long term strategy. Doing so can help you find any weaknesses that can be corrected by making some minor adjustments to your game plan.