6 Musts for Long-Term Retirement Stability

Two in five Americans fear that they will not be able to retire at all, according to a recent survey.

Meanwhile one in four Americans has no retirement savings at all, and many more feel that their savings are not on track for a financial secure retirement.

Here are a few time-tested tips that will help ensure that you are never short of funds during your golden years.

Do not give up working

One in five seniors is still a part of the active workforce in the country. In fact, nearly half of them report that they simply prefer working even if they have the money to retire.

Working in your golden years does not necessarily have to mean that to stick to your current employment or continue with a 9-to-5 job. Use skills you have honed over the decades in your job or profession to freelance,  take up a less demanding part-time job, or seek a work-from-home opportunity to keep earning in retirement.

Take into account your spouse’s position

If you are married it can be important to take into account your spouse’s savings and whether he or she is in a position to share some of the common expenses during retirement.

If the spouse has no savings of their own, your retirement planning must account for not only your future expenses but also those of your spouse.

Maximize retirement benefits

Do not be hasty or anxious to claim Social Security benefits once you reach the threshold age of 62 years.

Remember, claiming Social Security before you turn 66 or 67 (based on your year of birth) will likely diminish your benefits for life.

Consider this: If you start drawing benefits at 62 when your “full retirement age” is 67, you will end up permanently losing 30% of your monthly Social Security payments.

Put savings to work

In an extremely low interest economic environment, the old theory of being highly conservative with your retirement savings may no longer apply — particularly when you consider the potential for inflation and higher taxes.

Consider investing at least 50% of your savings in blue-chip growth stocks or strong dividend stocks. Maintain a diversified portfolio to mitigate risk and watch it closely. You may even consider investing in high-quality real estate funds to generate income.

Keep a check on expenses

When you have money in the bank you will enjoy a more satisfying and peaceful retirement, even if your lifestyle is relatively frugal.

To begin with, aim to pay off your mortgage at the earliest opportunity. If you are living in a place where it is hard to curb expenses, consider moving out to a cheaper location or downsizing your home.

Minimize non-essential expenses and choose healthy activities and pastimes that cost almost nothing. Why join a gym if a hike in the woods is free?

Consult a financial planner

You don’t have to struggle with planning your retirement all by yourself if you are unsure of how it will all work out.

Experienced financial planners who work by the hour are in a position to make better projections about your future income and expenses and can help you craft a prudent spending, saving and investment plan based on your unique challenges.

They can also advise you to protect your money against the risk of scams and online fraud.