Thinking about retirement isn’t the most pleasant of activities, but it’s a necessary one if you want to be adequately prepared for your golden years. Talking about retirement with your significant other is just as important, since often people are on different pages about how much and when to contribute to their nest egg.
A recent survey found that couples are discussing retirement often, at an average of 14 times per year. Though this number sounds encouraging, it might not be the case that each mention of retirement equates to a full fledged conversation about the issue. Rather, it could simply be something mentioned in passing or a discussion about finances in general. Still, at least couples are talking about it.
The survey, which was sponsored by Capital One Share Builder, interviewed 1,008 adults on the telephone about their contributions to retirement. 72% of employed adults say they are contributing a percentage of their annual income to retirement.
The average contribution was 6.4% of yearly income, though this is just over half their ideal contribution amount. Adults believe they should be saving an average of 12.1% of their income.
Most Americans simply aren’t saving enough for retirement, especially during the current economic climate in which costs are higher and the interest rate environment is so low. Many people underestimate the cost of retirement as it is, which leads to a gap in savings and costs when the time comes to retire.
Despite the average contribution of 6.4%, the president of Capitol One Share Builder says that contributing anything less than 10% of annual income is too low. In your 40s and 50s especially, he explained, it becomes crucial to save more, ideally 15-20% of your yearly income for retirement. He acknowledges how difficult this can be amidst countless other financial demands, though, which is why so few Americans meet those targeted contribution rates.
According to the survey, employed men are saving an average of 7.2% of their annual income, compared with employed women who are saving an average of only 5.6%. Women tend to focus on the emotional and organizational aspects of retirement, while men are typically more focused on the financial aspect. Most studies find that women are less prepared financially for retirement than men, but are often more worried about the burdens entailed in their years after work.
61% of female pre-retirees are concerned they will never save enough for retirement, and 52% of male pre-retirees worry the same thing. More than half, 58%, of pre-retirees plan to retire at 65, but 57% of all pre-retirees are concerned they won’t save enough in time.
With the rising cost of health care and increasing life spans in our country, saving for retirement becomes more difficult every year. Because of the huge expense that retirement has become, more and more adults are opting to work longer or only partially retire rather than move onto full retirement.
Too often, people think they will be able to pay for retirement with resources like their house, but these types of gambles aren’t the safest. With the rising cost of long term care, it’s crucial to put serious effort towards saving for retirement and doing your best to prioritize spending and increase your contribution rate as much as possible. Read more about talking retirement with your loved ones or learn more about how to protect your assets with Long Term Care Insurance.