For many of us the recession has hit pretty hard, especially our bank accounts and for those of us who've started planning for retirement. The economy hasn't been easy for those in the baby boomer age bracket as they were hit the hardest of all. Many are having to forgo retiring at the age they had anticipated and don't know where to turn. With that being said, Cathy Weatherford, President and CEO of IRI- the Insured Retirement Institute was kind enough to join me yesterday to discuss the top concerns of baby boomers, what they can expect to face in the coming years and how we can all plan for our golden years of retirement even if we're on fixed incomes.
Cathy Weatherford, President and CEO of Retire On Your Own Terms – Image courtesy of RetireOnYourOwnTerms.org
Candace Rose: What are the top concerns for baby boomers as they enter into retirement?
Cathy Weatherford: "Well, the first of the baby boomers turn 65 this year and all the rest of us lack confidence in preparing for retirement. We've got health care costs to look at- the recession has hit our savings accounts very hard; we also have longevity, we're going to live longer than any generation ever has on the face of this planet, and so that's going to be big issue for us to make sure that we have adequate income to last us a lifetime."
Candace Rose: How prepared would you say boomers are for retirement?
Cathy Weatherford: "You know, this recession did hit us hard and baby boomers are probably greatly undersaved for retirement, but I believe that if you start now- if we plan now we may have to work a little longer or we may have to take part-time jobs in retirement. But I believe that we do have the time to play catch-up and build out a good, strong retirement plan that will supplement our social security and get us all the way through."
Candace Rose: What can baby boomers who are on fixed incomes do to prepare for retirement?
Cathy Weatherford: "Well, if you can tuck a little bit of money away every month, that's very important because every dollar that you save now will be very helpful to you as you try to meet fixed expenses for retirements that are going to last 15, 20, 30 or 40 years- so we have to think about that. The other thing is looking at social security and determining when's the right time to claim social security. If we can hold off and not claim social security till 70 years old, that paycheck is going to be a lot bigger than it is if you claim at 62 or 65."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share this morning?
Cathy Weatherford: "Well, I think that one of the things is it's never too late to get started, so get started today. Take care of yourself- it's the most important thing you can do for yourself, for your retirement. Secondly- sit down with a financial professional to be sure that you have a good, strong retirement plan and a savings plan to get you there; and then go to our website: RetireOnYourTerms.org. There's retirement calculators, there's all types of educational materials there so you can arm yourself with good education and information and facts to help you make a plan to move forward."