The average retirement age in the United States is currently 61 years old. 62 is currently the minimum age to collect Social Security in the United States while 66 is considered “full retirement age” for those born before 1960 and 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
While many people say they will work for as long as they can, many retire earlier than expected. Sometimes retiring even a few years earlier than you’d anticipated can be costly. The average person age 65 and older spends roughly $46,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re spending at that rate and you retire six years earlier than you’d anticipated, that’s around $276,000 worth of additional savings you might or might not have.
If you’re thinking about retirement, here are some steps to help you along the way as you prepare for this major step. Even if you aren’t thinking about retiring in the next few years, you never know what curveball life might throw at you, so it’s good to be prepared for the possibility of early retirement.
Know Where Your Retirement Savings Stand
The free Personal Capital Retirement Planner will help you know where you stand relative to your retirement goals. Using your actual financial data from the accounts you’ve linked to the Personal Capital Dashboard, you’ll see how prepared you are for retirement based on your ideal target retirement date.
Additionally, you can forecast your retirement spending. The meter for your Retirement Spending Ability compares your desired Retirement Spending Goal to a projected spending. This will help you determine an estimate of the monthly spending amount that can be sustained.
Staying in touch with people in your professional network is a good career move at any age, and it’s also a way to ensure you’re on track to keep working as long as you want or need to.
Start purposely nurturing a network of people who might have employment for you later on. Keep in touch via LinkedIn or on other forms of social media. And keep your resume or portfolio up-to-date. You never know when a new opportunity might show itself since there’s no guarantee that your employer will keep you working until retirement.
Keep Your Pay Flexible
As you get older you should keep your pay flexible. While this can be hard to adjust to, know that as long as you’re working you’re saving for retirement. Be prepared financially and try living on a portion of your salary before you retire. This will give you the benefit to practice for your retirement job, and free up more money to put into savings now.
Diversify Your Savings
As you approach retirement, especially if you are one of the lucky ones to be able to retire before the average retiree, it’s important to diversify your savings. We focus on filling up our 401k bucket, but don’t neglect taxable and Roth (when possible) savings. Having money in different account types (pre-tax, taxable, post-tax) can help if you are retired before age 59.5. It will also offer flexibility and possible tax savings if you can be strategic about the account types you withdraw from in retirement.
Talk To A financial advisor
Who do I talk to about retirement? Our financial advisors will provide a holistic perspective on your retirement plan. You both have access to the same tools, such as the Retirement Planner. This way you can have an informed conversation, and get the honest, transparent advice you need to help you reach your retirement goals.
Suggested Next Steps for You
- Sign up for Personal Capital’s FREE financial tools to get access to the Retirement Planner, a tool that will help you project your portfolio’s chance for supporting you in retirement.
- Consider speaking to a financial advisor to help you plan for transitioning into retirement, and also help you manage your money in retirement.