Everyone knows there’s a retirement crisis in America, but it might be worse than you think. Did you know that half of Americans won’t be financially ready when it’s time to retire?
That’s the word from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, which puts together a National Retirement Risk Index. It found that roughly 50% of U.S. households probably won’t be able to maintain their standard of living after they stop working – even if they work to age 65.
Will you be ready when it’s time to retire? How can you get ready?
We’ve got these suggestions for you:
Double your money with a pro
How can you double your money on the way to retirement? By working with a professional, that’s how.
A Vanguard study found that, on average, a hypothetical $500,000 investment over 25 years would grow to $1.7 million if you manage it yourself, but more than $3.4 million if you work with a financial adviser. That’s twice as much!
If you’ve got at least $100,000 in investments, check out a free service called SmartAsset. You fill out a short questionnaire and instantly get matched with up to three vetted financial advisers in your area, all legally bound to work in your best interests.
Even if you don’t want help picking investments, an adviser can help lower your tax burden, create a comprehensive financial plan for you, maximize your Social Security, and serve as a second pair of eyes to make sure you’re on the right track.
Using SmartAsset only takes a few minutes, and in many cases you’ll be offered a free consultation.
Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard white paper, Putting a value on your value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha.
Protect your home from unexpected costly repairs
Home repairs aren’t cheap. Whether it’s a leaky roof or a broken appliance, your home can quickly become a nightmare and cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to keep up.
But you don’t have to worry. Luckily, with a home warranty company called Select Home Warranty, you can safeguard yourself against giant repair bills. From home appliances to electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, it can all be protected.
When something goes wrong due to normal wear and tear, you just call Select Home Warranty, day or night. The company has a wide network of reputable repair folks who will fix what’s wrong.
And if they can’t fix it? Select Home Warranty will replace it. All you pay is a service fee.
You don’t need a home inspection to qualify for a warranty, and there’s no limit to the number of claims you can file. Right now, Select Home Warranty is offering $150 off plans, two months for free and free roof leak coverage.
Hey, if you’re handy and like to repair stuff yourself, that’s obviously the cheapest route. But if that’s not you, a penny spent now could save you big bucks later.
If nothing else, at least see what it would cost. Get a free quote in 30 seconds.
Invest in gold before a market crash
If you’ve got your savings stashed away in a 401(k), IRA or brokerage account, the worst-case scenario is the stock market plummeting right as you’re retiring.
Fact is, putting all your money in one place – stocks, bonds, crypto, whatever – is a recipe for losing wealth, not building it. Diversification is key to financial security. Here’s an easy way to start: Buy gold and/or other precious metals. Those investments typically do well when the stock market decides to tumble.
But be careful who you deal with. Not all gold dealers are on the up-and-up, and some of them are only too happy to sell you gold and silver at vastly inflated prices.
Oxford Gold Group, on the other hand, has a 4.9-star rating (out of five stars) on Trustpilot, where 96% of reviewers call the company “excellent” and 4% call it “great.” It also has an AA rating with the Business Consumer Alliance and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
They’ll allow you to invest in a Gold IRA that adheres to IRS regulations. They also offer gold bars and coins, as well as silver (including silver IRAs), platinum and palladium.
If you’ve ever thought of investing in gold, give Oxford Gold a try.
Plan ahead for what Medicare won’t cover
Here’s something no one tells you about affording retirement: Seven in 10 people who turn 65 today will probably need some kind of long-term care in their old age, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And that gets incredibly expensive.
“But won’t Medicare pay for that?” Nope. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care — and paying for it yourself could totally deplete your nest egg.
That’s where long-term care (LTC) insurance comes in. One of the best places to find it? GoldenCare. Unless, that is, you live in (Alaska, Florida, Hawaii or Washington). They don’t offer policies there.
The median cost for home health aide services in the U.S. is a whopping $27 per hour, according to the latest Cost of Care Survey conducted by Genworth Financial. Based on that rate, 24-hour care would come to $4,536 per week, or $18,144 per month. Yikes!
Remember: The younger you are when you sign up, the lower your costs will be. That’s why you should at least take a minute and check out GoldenCare right now.
Optimize your retirement savings
If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, make sure to take advantage of your full company match. Otherwise, you’re passing up free money.
Sock away as much as you can. Vanguard says the average contribution to their 401(k) plans in 2022 was only 7.4% of income, far below the 10% to 15% the pros recommend.
If you don’t have access to a 401(k) plan, open an IRA and try to max out your contributions. That’s money that will grow tax-free until you retire.
And once you turn 50, take advantage of rules that allow you to “catch up.” For 2023, the 401(k) contribution limit for employees is $22,500, or $30,000 if you’re 50 or older. For IRAs, the annual contribution limit for 2023 is $6,500, or $7,500 if you’re 50 or older.