Age Doesn’t Matter: Focus on Retirement Savings Today!

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.

It is 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 are in your 20s, the center advises that you start saving 10% of your pay annually and gradually increase the percentage over time.

* If you’re playing catch-up starting at age 45 and hope to retire at 65, the center estimates that you will need to save 27% of your income each year. If you can put off retirement to age 70, that 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.

Here’s another way of looking at it, from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC):

* Between the age 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 age of 30 and 45, home ownership allows you to build equity in your property as you pay down your mortgage. In addition to building equity in your home, focus on growing your retirement savings.

* 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 Certified Financial Counselor. For online tools, search “sharpen your financial focus” and “my retirement paycheck” on the Web.

For personalized help from a financial counselor, visit http://www.nfcc.org or call 800-388-2227.

Don’t wait until you’re in deep trouble to ask for a financial checkup at Hopewell Federal Credit Union. We’re here for you. Contact us today.

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