Are you planning for retirement or know someone who is? We all know how stressful planning for our future can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Insured Retirement Institute’s founder and President, Cathy Weatherford joined me for an interview this week to discuss just how baby boomers can plan for retirement, even if they’re on a fixed income.
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about the Insured Retirement Institute’s third annual survey on baby boomers retirement expectations?
Cathy Weatherford: “We’ve been surveying baby boomers since this is the third year since they turned age 65 to see where they are in their retirement plans and their retirement confidence. What we found in this third year is that retirement confidence is going down. In ’11 44% felt that they were ready for retirement. We are at 37% today, so we know this recession is taking a tremendous toll on baby boomers.
Another thing they told us by great numbers is they planned to work longer than they had planned just three years ago. We had a full 18% tell us that plan to not retire until age 70. Now that can be a good thing because social security claiming at age 70 gives you a higher amount of monthly income, so maybe that’s what they’re thinking. Our three year survey is showing that boomers are going to re-shift and redefine what retirement looks like in America.”
Candace Rose: How can baby boomers best prepare for retirement, especially those on fixed incomes?
Cathy Weatherford: “Clearly when confidence is down most people just don’t take action, so the best information I can give them is to take one step forward. If you can’t do it all, if it feels overwhelming take one step forward. Do something around savings, either figuring out some way that you can start putting away a little more away or at least taking an assessment of where you are so you know where it is you need to get to.
We have a great website RetireOnYourTerms.org, it has retirement calculators, it has great resources, tips and tools- easy to read, easy to understand and I think it can really help people’s confidence to take that first step forward if they haven’t done so yet.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Cathy Weatherford: “I think the most important thing as a boomer is you need to think about what are my fixed expenses in retirement going to be. We know that we all rely on social security to meet those fixed expenses, but I don’t think social security for most of us are going to meet expenses in retirement and we really need to take that assessment and to plan at least for that and then try to have some nest egg on the side to take care of those unexpected expenses that are going to hit us in retirement. And remember, we’re going to live longer as baby boomers than anybody has ever lived on this planet and so we need to make plans to make sure that we take care of ourselves in those later years of our retirement.”