Tags: Retirement | think | outside | box

NYT: Low Retirement Savings Forces Baby Boomers to Think Outside Box

By    |   Tuesday, 07 July 2015 06:00 AM

You've undoubtedly heard of the many reports showing that our retirement savings are inadequate.

That means those of us in our 50s and 60s must get a little creative to make sure we can finance a decent lifestyle in our golden years, writes Harriet Edleson of The New York Times.

So what can we do?

"The first step, retirement experts say, is to face their financial situation candidly, whatever it may be, and plan from there," Edleson writes. "Even if you haven’t saved enough, they say, there are ways to improve your situation."

You can delay retirement. Already 82 percent of Americans in their 60s plan to work beyond 65 or are already doing so, and 18 percent don't plan to retire at all, according a report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

You can cut your housing costs by moving to a smaller home or bringing in a renter to your current home. If you sell your current home, you may benefit from the 4.9 percent increase in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index in the 12 months through April.

Meanwhile, the old conventional wisdom that retirees should foreswear stocks for bonds is wisdom no more, says Stuart Ritter, senior financial planner for T. Rowe Price.

"Too many retirees are working from an outdated playbook, one that de-emphasizes the crucial role of equities," he writes in the AAII Journal. "The disconnect between modern retirement lifestyles and an old-fashioned approach to investing underscores a big risk that can threaten retirement bliss: the chance that a retiree might outlive his or her assets."

Given longer life expectancies and the ultra-low interest-rate environment of the past seven years, you can't expect interest payments from your fixed-income investments to provide for your retirement needs, Ritter points out.

Many in the financial community argue that curbing risk is "simply a matter of reducing equity exposure in favor of fixed-income holdings and short-term investments like cash," he says

But, "by reducing equity exposure too much in retirement, investors are simply trading a potential reduction in short-term volatility for other risks, such as ... outliving their assets."

Many experts agree with Ritter, recommending equity-income investments, such as dividend stocks, preferred stocks, real estate investment trusts and master limited partnerships.

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You've undoubtedly heard of the many reports showing that our retirement savings are inadequate. That means those of us in our 50s and 60s must get a little creative to make sure we can finance a decent lifestyle in our golden years.
Retirement, think, outside, box
376
2015-00-07
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 06:00 AM
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