Saving for retirement is an important thing to do. Without a solid nest egg, you might end up struggling financially once your career comes to an end and you're no longer collecting a steady paycheck.
It's especially important to save for retirement considering that Social Security might have to start implementing benefit cuts in a little over a year. And even if that doesn't happen, those benefits will only replace about 40% of the average-earner's pre-retirement wages. Most retirees need more income than that to live comfortably — hence, the need to save.
But it's not just building your nest egg that's important to focus on. You'll also need to manage your savings wisely so your money lasts for the rest of your life.
Doing so, however, may be easier said than done. And that explains why 38% of workers today worry about outliving their savings, as per a recent Transamerica survey. But if you're worried your savings won't last throughout your retirement, there are steps you can take to alleviate that concern.
Invest your savings wisely during retirement
Some people make the mistake of pulling out of the stock market completely once they retire. Don't follow their lead.
It's a smart idea to shift to more stable investments, like bonds, as a retiree. But that doesn't mean you should dump your stocks completely. If you do, your savings may not continue to grow at a decent pace, and that could increase your risk of depleting your nest egg.
The percentage of your assets you keep in stocks will hinge on factors that include your tolerance for risk. But you may want to start off retirement with a good 50% of your assets in stocks if that won't keep you awake at night. And if that doesn't sit well with you, make it 30% or 40%.
Establish a safe withdrawal strategy
Withdrawing from your savings at random, or whenever and how much you please, could lead you to run out of money at some point in time. Rather than do that, crunch some numbers and land on a smart withdrawal strategy.
Some financial experts will tell you that an annual withdrawal rate of 4% makes sense. But that may not be the case for you. You may find that a more conservative withdrawal rate of 2.5% or 3% is a better idea, given your life expectancy and investment mix.
It's definitely not a bad idea to sit down with a financial advisor to help you figure out what withdrawal rate to begin with. You can always adjust that rate as circumstances warrant, but the key is to go in with a plan.
Running out of money in retirement is a serious matter — and a fate you don't deserve. But if you invest your savings in a reasonably (but not overly) aggressive fashion and withdraw from your nest egg carefully, you may find that your money lasts as long as you need it to.
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