Taking Care of Business

November 15, 2013 - 14:18 — KentPalmer
Taking Care of Business

Are you mentally and financially prepared for retirement?

According to Gallup’s 2013 Economy and Personal Finance survey, the average retirement age in the U.S. has risen by 4 years over the past 20 years, from 57 in the early nineties to 61 today. And those of us who are still working expect to retire even later, at age 66 on average, up from 60 in the mid-nineties. The average retirement age will probably increase in the future, as more non-retirees expect to delay their retirement past age 65.

Many factors are behind the current increase, including changing work values, fewer jobs with mandatory retirement ages, the structure of the workforce, and healthy longevity. Americans no longer view retirement as a sign of old age; rather, loss of independent living and the ability to drive mark the elderly, according to a USB survey of affluent investors.

For many Americans, however, financial concerns are a major factor in delayed retirement. The Employee Benefits Research Institute’s 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey finds that worker confidence in having enough money to retire declined this year, resuming the slow downward trend that began with the financial downturn in 2008. They may not be saving and investing enough for living expenses during retirement, or have an accurate understanding of what those costs will be. More troubling is that many people are not taking the basic financial measures for a secure retirement.

How much money will you need for retirement? Morningstar Investment Research Center, a library online resource, has a Retirement Cost Calculator intended to quickly define retirement target goals—annual retirement income, current and annual savings needed, and required returns. Morningstar also has a collection of articles and videos on retirement planning. You can access these resources from Naperville Public Library’s website.

Also, be sure to look for upcoming investment workshops at the library in January and February 2014.