October's Top 10 Retirement Facts and Figures | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

October's Top 10 Retirement Facts and Figures

By Jeffrey Levine, IRA Technical Expert
Follow Me on Twitter:
@IRAGuru4EdSlott

Below is a short list of the 10 most amazing, surprising and/or illuminating facts about retirement that I read in October. Before each fact, you’ll find my own brief commentary, and after each fact, you’ll find the original article from which the fact was pulled should you be interested in further reading. If you want to re-read September’s edition, you can go here.
 

  1. For most Boomers, it’s not a matter of if they will need long-term care, but when – “About 70% of those who make it to age 65 will eventually need some kind of long-term care.”  http://time.com/money/4062163/long-term-care-insurance-study-lapse/?xid=tcoshare
     
  1. It’s not just your own long-term care need that could derail your retirement, but that of a loved one as well – “62 percent [of caregivers]—said they paid for care with their savings and retirement funds. In addition, 38 percent reported that they reduced their contributions to their savings and retirement programs.” http://insurancenewsnet.com/innarticle/2015/10/02/795551.html
     
  1. Can having too much of a retirement nest-egg be a bad thing? Apparently so – “At about $3.5 million of savings, retirees actually become less satisfied.” http://blog.aicpa.org/2015/10/does-more-money-make-you-happier-when-you-retire-not-always.html - sthash.7V2de6FH.rlfqDVkX.dpbs
     
  1. In the words of “Mr. Wonderful,” stop the madness! – “About 33 percent of 401(k) investors cash out before reaching age 59½.”  http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/16/dont-treat-your-401k-plan-like-its-an-atm-experts-say.html
     
  1. Statistically speaking, there’s a really good chance that you think you know a lot more about retirement income than you actually do (don’t shoot the messenger) – “only 20% of Americans demonstrated a passing level of retirement income literacy despite nearly 97% of Americans showing a high level of confidence in their own knowledge levels.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiehopkins/2015/10/16/financial-concerns-are-a-real-distraction-for-employees/
     
  1. There’s a lot of people who’ve left a lot of Social Security benefits on the table – “Only about one-tenth of 1 percent of all Social Security recipients took advantage of the file-and-suspend strategy.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/31/business/retirement/rarely-used-social-security-loopholes-worth-thousands-of-dollars-are-closed.html?_r=0
     
  1. And they say that romance is dead -  “About 60 percent of men cite spending more time with their wives as one of the strongest motivations to retire.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-27/guys-retire-to-hang-with-their-wives-and-the-wives-
     
  1. You go girl! – “Once enrolled, women across all income levels save at rates that are anywhere from 7% to 16% higher than those of their male counterparts.” https://institutional.vanguard.com/iam/pdf/GENDRESP.pdf?cbdForceDomain=false
     
  1. And I hope to win the lottery one day. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to count on it for my retirement plan – “63% of those ages 55-59 and half (49%) of those 60+ say they ‘hope to earn more money in the future to save enough for retirement.’” https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/press/2015/few-years-difference_1022.content
     
  1. If you want your standard of living to remain even close to the same in retirement as during your working years, you’re going to have to generate the lion’s share of retirement income on your own – “the average Social Security benefit -- $15,700 a year -- doesn’t come close to replacing the earnings of those with mid-five and six-figure salaries.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-21/bad-math-68-million-americans-no-401-k-epic-savings-crisis

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