Skip to comments.Four ways 60-year-olds can save their retirement
Posted on 12/12/2010 12:02:28 PM PST by Graybeard58
BOSTON Odds are you're anything but average, but for a moment, let's pretend you are. And, if we pretend you're an average 60-year-old with a 401(k) plan, we may surmise that you don't have enough saved for retirement.
According to a recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute, 401(k) participants in their 60s had an average account balance of $144,000 at the end of 2009. Workers in their 60s who have been participating in the same 401(k) plan for more than 30 years have on average $197,472 in their plan.
Those numbers don't tell the whole story. They include only what that average worker has socked away in his current employer's 401(k) plan, and none of the money he might have in a former employer's plan. It doesn't include any money in IRAs, Roth IRAs, or taxable accounts. And it doesn't reflect how much money a worker's spouse might have set aside for retirement.
"It's so hard to judge retirement adequacy with one statistic like this," said Stephen Utkus, a principal with the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research.
Nonetheless, assuming you look a little bit like the average worker in your 60s with a 401(k) plan, you should be doing at least four things now.
Build a bigger nest egg
If you're in your 60s and all you've got saved is $200,000 in a 401(k) plan, it's time to start socking more away, said Christine Fahlund, a certified financial planner and vice president at T. Rowe Price Investment Services Inc.
Using a common rule-of-thumb withdrawal rate, you would withdraw 4 percent of your $200,000 nest egg in the first year of retirement, or $8,000. That amount is likely to be inadequate.
"Without a sizeable pension, this will not be enough for most retirees to live on, even with Social Security benefits," Fahlund said.
Check your asset allocation
Workers in their 60s had a much more conservative asset allocation than the average participant, the EBRI study found. At year-end 2009, those in their 60s had, on average, about 32 percent in equity funds, almost 8 percent in target-date funds, 7 percent in balanced funds; 14 percent in bond funds; 7 percent in money funds; 20 percent in guaranteed insurance contracts or GICs/stable funds; 8 percent in company stock; and 4 percent in other types.
According to Utkus, it would not be imprudent if the typical worker in his 60s had 40 percent of his 401(k) invested in equities, inclusive of the percent invested in balanced funds and company stocks.
"That's not unreasonable and (is) consistent with our own approach to asset allocation by age," he said.
That said, there are still participants, regardless of their age, who will still hold too-extreme equity allocations.
"My advice to all participants, but particularly those on the cusp of retirement, is to adjust their equity allocations to a sensible level, and avoid the temptation to take too much, or too little, risk in equities," Utkus said.
3. Delay retirement
Of all the things that 60-somethings can do to boost their retirement security, Utkus said delaying retirement, if only for two years, can go a long way toward making sure retirement is more comfortable than it might otherwise be.
Of course, in today's difficult labor market, Utkus acknowledged that you may not be able to delay retirement.
"Some older households haven't had the choice of retiring," he said. "They've been laid off, and haven't found work." But if that's the case in your household, Utkus suggested that you avoid "settling into a permanent state of retirement" and instead "revisit the issue of returning to work, at least part-time, when the local job market improves."
Fahlund agreed. "If you've have been laid off, seek new employment, even if it is only very part-time," she said. "Any additional income or benefits will be especially helpful as a means of avoiding having to tap that retirement nest egg for a few extra years. Even going back to school online where you can learn new skills and enhance your resume may be a solution."
4. Delay taking Social Security
Utkus and Fahlund also recommend delaying Social Security if possible. Delaying can mean higher permanent Social Security benefits, Utkus said.
For her part, Fahlund suggested the following tactic: "While continuing to remain employed, preferably have the larger wage-earning spouse delay taking Social Security benefits until age 70, if possible," she said.
Why? Unemployment benefits are forever now aren't they?
Leave the country, renounce your citizenship, come back as an illegal. Problem solved.
I just hope my heirs don’t kill me before the end of the year, although it would be a smart thing to do, financially. If I were on life support, I would have them pull the plug!
“4. Delay taking Social Security”
That only pays off if you live long enough.
Of course they know that. These are invesment people. They want you to remain in the workforce and keep investing - hopefully with them.
Also, as the average person getting $8k yr from their nest egg after retirement: If it were true, I don’t think that’s that hideous. In a two wage earner family you’re probably looking at $2k + / month in SS benefits. So that’s $24 k / yr right there, plus the $8k gives you $32k / yr.
Hopefully byt that point in life you don’t have any more payments to make, etc.
Granted, not the high life, but not starvation either.
No, they're "only" 99 weeks. Heck, that's not even two years. Cheap buggers in DC.
I would guess the idea is to stay in the workforce. I'm sure a lot of employers would prefer not to hire those in their 60s, even more so if they have been out of work for awhile. Again, a guess.
Author Robert Powell is a financial genius. I think I'll look him up and have him manage my money.
I think the typical breakeven point on age 62 vs 66 is age 78 or so.
Unfortunately the govt terminated the "restart" provision on Friday. I had planned to use this if I got to age 69 and remained healthy.
"$8,000 [per year]...is likely to be inadequate."
Sometimes I think my family of four spend that much on food alone. I don't keep track but it seems that we can't go to the grocery store without spending at least $100. Many times it's more like $150. That does not include eating out, which we don't do all that much anyway.
Just one example but I recently watched as Oscar Meyer bacon went from $3.99 per pound to $4.99 per pound to $5.24 per pound in the space of about a month at W-M. I ask you, who can live without bacon?
take your meager 401K, sell assets (house), & move to Costa Rica or Belize. You can live cheaply....
My late pastor retired at 65, died of a massive heart attack before he drew his first check. Take it at 62 and enjoy your life.
What if you live another healthy 30 years?
So basically this clown’s advise is...
FATTEN UP YOU SHEEP, WE’RE NOT DONE FLEECING YOU YET!
Here’s a better plan...
INVEST IN GUNS, AMMO, MORE GUNS, MUCH MORE AMMO!
When you retire use it to share the wealth of all of those who have been voting to take your wealth and distribute it among themselves. I for one am keeping my eyes on all the $150,000+ motor homes, pulling the $50,000+ SUV, with the $15,000+ in play toys in tow. Funny how they usually have a firefighters’ helmet sticker on the bumper. Serving the public, my arse!
5. Apply for an early death panel hearing.
ping for later
No freaking way.
Since the election I haven’t heard anything more of Tom Harkin’s plan to have the government seize private pension plans.
I reckon he figured there was no way to get that done during the lame duck. And he knows for sure it won’t happen after that :-)
most of us don't go flying around the world...most of us want enough money to visit children and grandchildren, to help them out, to eat out once in a while and maybe take a vacation or two every year...
I can see one of us delaying SS for a year or two, if the cards are right, but frankly, we’ve worked long and hard already....just hope they don’t steal away the 62 yro thing....
in retrospect the whole schtick of "good growth mutual funds held for a long time" and "the early bird catches the worm" or any of those folksy sayings just beat the hell out of most of us...the freeloaders, the flippers, the lying, cheating bankers....they all saw to it that hard work and saving wasn't worth it...
That's about 5 years away for me (gulp). If the politicians make any age changes, they will not effect anybody over, say 45 yrs old. SS is still the "third rail" and they will step gingerly around the edges.
My feeling is that I will start collecting my SS ASAP and, since I probably won't need it, I'll sock it away and/or invest it wisely. If I play my cards right, that 5 years of socking away and investing should yield more than enough to make up for the monthly difference I would get by waiting. That's my theory, anyway.
You can always work part time...up to a certain amount before the gov’t takes to much in taxes.