More than 50% of the 50-somethings surveyed now say they won't be financially prepared for retirement. If you're 20-something and reading this, then let this be your wake-up call. You can never start too soon. The earlier you start, the better off you'll be, and you'll be grateful you won't have to work until about two minutes before you die.
Here are the most popular retirement myths:
Social Security Will Take Care Of Me
First of all, if you're in your 20s, you stand a better chance of walking on the moon than seeing a check from social security. When it was created in 1935, it was not intended then, and certainly not intended now, to cover 100% of your expenses. No one should count on social security; if you are lucky enough to receive something when you retire, consider it gravy.
I Have A Great Pension At Work, And That Should Cover Me
Only 15% of American workers are entitled to a pension; 96% of those pension plans don't even have cost of living indexes. Certainly for those companies that still do indeed have a pension plan, new hires will not be eligible to participate in the plan. In order for American companies to remain competitive in the global market, they've had to phase out the old-fashioned defined benefit plan where the employee receives a check from the month they retire until the month they die.
My Expenses Will Go Down In Retirement
Probably not. Sure, some things will be less expensive, such as dry cleaning. Perhaps gasoline for the car, as you won't be driving to and from work; however, you will be driving around, after all you'll have all that free time and you can only sit in the Lazy-Boy for so long. You'll probably spend about the same amount when you first retire as you did pre-retirement. Then, after a while, that will go down as you get tired more easily and have to take naps, maybe even multiple naps. Fortunately, they haven't found a way to charge you for napping.
Then, medical costs will begin to creep up; before you know it, you're spending a lot of money on doctor bills and drugs. A couple retiring today can expect to spend at least $200,000 to $300,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses throughout their retirement.
I Can Always Sell My House And Live On The Equity
Sure you can always sell your house, but where will you live? Sometimes renting can be more costly than owning a home. Even the burden of moving, as well as the expense of it, is overwhelming, especially if you've lived in your house for a number of years.
The average cost of assisted living runs around $4,000 a month, or around $50,000 a year. How much equity do you really have in your house?
Longevity Does Not Run In My Family
Nowadays they're finding all kinds of cures for everything. Gene therapy is playing a tremendous role in extending lives and more research is done on it daily. What may have been the early demise of a family member has a simple treatment today. Average life expectancy is 79 years in the US, but you better believe that is only going to continue to increase.
What are some of the ways you're tricking yourself into thinking you don't have to save more for retirement?