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.
Gap in Savings
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.
Biological Clock Can Tell Your Body’s Age and Possibly Predict Timing of Disease
The ability to predict disease may sound unreal, but researchers believe they may have found a tool that can help them predict when in someone’s life disease is most likely to occur. This new biological clock was developed by scientists as UCLA looking to get a better idea of how our body ages and what that age indicates for the future.
Measuring Age with DNA
Steve Horvath, the lead author of the study and bioinformatician at UCLA, worked with other researchers to develop a way to use DNA to determine the age of tissue within the body.
After scouring more than 8,000 DNA samples from 51 different tissues and cells, they came up with a way to measure DNA methylation, which is the process by which genes are controlled and changed by the body to serve a new purpose.
The researchers discovered how to use DNA methylation, or DNAm, to determine the age of tissue within the body. They found that despite the fact that different parts of our body are all the same age in years, some parts age much more rapidly than others.
Looking at Tissue
Breast tissue in women, for example, typically tests two to three years older than the woman’s chronological age. Researches suggested this might be the reason that breast cancer is the cancer that most commonly afflicts women.
In the same regard, embryonic stem cells have an age of essentially zero when measured. UCLA has applied for a provisional patent for the DNAm biological clock.
By using this technology and comparing the age of certain tissues to the individuals’ chronological age, scientists may one day be able to determine which organs are aging at a rapid rate and are therefore more likely to experience disease.
According to the study, our bodies age at different rates throughout our life.
“The clock’s ticking rate isn’t constant,” Horvath said. “It ticks much faster when we’re born and growing from children into teenagers, then slows to a constant rate when we reach 20.”
Horvath and the other researchers involved in the study, which was published in the journal Genome Biology, are looking to see whether or not this knowledge of tissue age can determine the effect that supposed anti-aging medications and solutions are actually doing their job. For now, though, they are still working through the mechanisms of measuring tissue age and determining how it impacts our body’s health.