Not everyone can afford to retire or to retire on their own terms.
The average 65-year-old barely makes $38,500. And over 33% of Americans have no money saved for retirement and don’t have a plan.
Here are three things you can do now if you can’t afford to retire.
Delay Social Security benefits
The earliest that you can start receiving Social Security benefits is age 62. And the average monthly Social Security payment is $1,543. How much you receive will depend on your personal circumstances.
However, if you know you can’t afford to retire now, you can delay receiving your Social Security benefits until age 70.
Your benefits increase for every month you delay receiving benefits until age 70. For example, if you delay receiving your benefits until you are 66 years and 8 months old, you will receive 105.3% of your planned benefit.
If you can wait until you are 70, you will receive 132% of your planned monthly benefit.
It will involve a lot of sacrifices, but if you delay getting Social Security for as long as possible you can count on that money later.
Just remember, if you delay getting benefits past age 70 there will be no more increases.
Take a hard, realistic inventory of your life and prioritize needs or want. Then, downsize every asset that you can.
Downsize your home for an apartment. Sell your car or switch it for a more fuel-efficient model.
Get into the habit of only buying generic medicines and products. You can save up to 30% or more by always buying generic. You could save $1,000 or more annually on groceries by strictly buying store brand products when possible.
Readjust your budget with a fine-toothed comb and prioritize what you need and don’t need when it comes to expenses. Strategically downsizing can help you save a lot of money and make the money you have stretch farther.
Increase 401(k) contributions
The typical American employee can contribute up to $19,500 to their annual retirement plan.
If you are 50 or older you save more through the “catch up” provision.
If you are age 50 your contribution can be increased this year by $6,500. So, you can now contribute up to $26,000 annually in your 401(k).
If your employer matches your contributions you could have a sizable retirement fund in a few years.