Should not be using averages and percentages
Retirement affects every individual at varying stages of life. Retirement income planning has struck a chord in me because of the thoughts influenced on me by my parents. I hope to take good advantage of a regular retirement income when I plan to retire around the age of 65 and am expecting the early contributions cI make from my pay check will bring a peace of mind when I grow old.
To me, a happy retirement means not having to worry about being able to live comfortably when I retire. It means being able to live in the same lifestyle as I am living all my life. Not worrying about every single penny. Most importantly not being a financial burden to my children. One of the best things I have learned from my parents is that you do not have to be rich to have a happy retirement or to even plan for retirement security. Starting with making a plan is key and we should not be using averages and percentages that are used to base our plan on.
Many retired people erroneously think that they can take 10% out of their savings each year to pay college tuition for their children but my Dad has advised against it as it leads in us getting broke fast mainly because the charm of ROI is lost when we don’t leverage the power of compounding. I would like to leverage lifetime income annuity which will ensure a paycheck every month. Since my Dad works for insurance industry, I have learned from him the importance of planning for long term care. Many people think that insurance is so expensive but it is much cheaper to plan for it now than have no insurance and be wiped out by it. I know that Medicaid does not pay any long term care benefits and hence opting for long term care policy is a valuable retirement asset.
In order for me to ensure that I have enough money to retire at my target age of 65, I plan to save about 15-25% of my earnings every year from the time I start earning my first pay check. I am a firm believer in having a plan for every stage of life…flying by the seat of my pants is just not in my nature. When I retire, I would like to have accumulated atleast 1 million dollars in the retirement savings. This amount will help me face the unexpected at that point of my life because and make my footprint stronger in facing the uncertainties of health, market inflation and the sheer adversity of any natural calamity that I might face at that age.
When it comes to investing, time is every bit as powerful as a great rate of return. I have attended the workshops setup by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and learnt that the sooner I start with saving smaller amounts at the beginning of my career, the better position I will end up with much more corpus when I am ready to retire. Their example has truly inspired me to start saving early‐ If you’re age 25 and invest $5,000 a year for 10 years at an average annual rate of 11 percent, your $50,000 total investment will grow to $787,000 by retirement. But if you wait until age 55 and do the same thing, the $50,000 will grow to just $83,000.
The other aspect of the workshop they covered was about my risk taking abilities if I start saving early. Having a longer time to invest also meant that I can use more aggressive investments, because I will have time to weather any downturns in the market.
I feel lucky to know that several people have made mistakes or ignored the importance of retirement planning. People don’t realize the tax benefits that the retirement plans provide and they have ignored tax issues when planning for retirement. It feels like one may earn less with a tax‐advantaged investment like 401K, but the savings on taxes will actually put one farther ahead.
A proper retirement savings plan will require a number of different vehicles to realize savings. Most Financial planners recommend that you try to receive 70 percent of your pre‐retirement income during retirement. Further, many employers offer benefits “matching,” which means that an employer will match a certain percentage of the amount one contributes to the employer-sponsored retirement plan. Since most of the employers offer such a program, people who are not taking advantage of it, are in essence throwing away free money. Another mistake people make is not to use the retirement calculators after allocating funds to the retirement accounts. A common mistake many people make who are just beginning to start saving for retirement is believing that by simply enrolling in an employer-sponsored 401(k), they are saving enough. But that percentage should really go up as income increases. Further, the older you get, the more vigilant you need to be about the amount you are saving. Since your income is likely to be at its highest in the years just before you retire, it’s important that you make the most of that extra income by saving a little extra if possible.
Just like my Dad helped make this decision of not sending me to a prestigious and costly university, several hundred miles away, I would like to provide a feedback that prestigious colleges don’t actually do much to increase a graduate’s chance of securing a job by exhausting all the family savings, meaning that while I would have preferred the brand name that was so far from my city, I will do just fine with a degree from a state school because I have come to realize that it is ultimately what I gain from the environment and the opportunities available to me. I would like to imbibe the philosophy of Caretenders about serving the community needs through my career path thereby making a difference one person at a time.