You've probably read a slew of reports detailing how financially ill-prepared many of us are for retirement.
A new survey
of retirees and non-retirees for the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council gives some idea why. A total of 54 percent of respondents say they have never spoken to a financial adviser.
"This tells me that we might have a retirement crisis on our hands from the standpoint of people not preparing," Jim Poolman, executive director of the Council, told USA Today.
Certified financial planner Jeff Rose of Carbondale, Ill., told the paper he's shocked at the large amount of people five years from retirement who come to him and admit they have never met with a financial adviser.
"It surprises me because I realize that there are so many little things that could have been improved on their financial situation if they'd seen an adviser," he said.
"If they'd made tweaks to their 401(k) or had someone review their IRAs, theoretically it could add up to tens of thousands of dollars."
So what's preventing us from doing the right thing when it comes to saving for retirement?
A "big one is certainly the illusion of time," Scott Thoma, investment strategist for Edward Jones, told Fox Business.com.
In other words, we think we have more time than we actually do to build a retirement kitty.
"Many also don't understand how little steps can make a big difference," he said. "For example, the average tax refund is about $3,000 a year. Investing this, every year over 30 years with a 7 percent return, could be $300,000 over 30 years."
Inertia also is an obstacle. "Just a problem with getting started," Thoma said. "This is why steps such as auto-enrollment in employer-savings plans is important, automatically building a habit of savings."
Even if you are in the midst of paying off debt, "at least contribute enough to achieve the company match," and then worry about debt, Thoma advises.
He's referring to 401k plans. We are repeatedly advised by retirement experts to max out contributions to those plans. But many of us work at companies that don't have them, or we don't even work for a company full-time, freelancing instead.
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