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Most seniors holding onto jobs

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau state that 23 percent of Americans age 65 to 74 are still in the workforce. What are the driving forces behind a greater number of seniors still holding down jobs?

Certainly the present national economic outlook has something to do with it. But more importantly is that they didn't adequately provide for their retirement years and simply have to continue working.

Many people have misperceived notions about their retirement. As a result, they don't proactively save and make arrangements for the years when they want to retire. What worked for previous generations in terms of retirement may not be feasible in today's financial climate.

It's important to consider these facts about retirement early in your work career so that you'll be financially set when retirement age rolls around.

•Social Security is not the sole answer. Social Security payments will not singularly fund your retirement. It is conservative to expect that Social Security will amount to roughly one-third of your pre-retirement salary. Therefore if you earn $50,000 annually, you would get in the area of $15,000 in Social Security benefits a year. You do the math ... it's difficult to live on that amount in this day and age. Plus, you have to wait until age 67 before you're eligible to collect full Social Security benefits.

•Don't count on inheritances. Many parents or relatives are simply unable to earmark a large sum of funds for the purpose of inheritances. As health care costs continue to rise, money must be used to pay for that. Some people are also choosing to specify in their wills that money go to charity after their death -- not to family members. Therefore, thinking an inheritance will allow you to coast through retirement is impractical.

•Pensions are a thing of the past. Largely, the idea of pensions is a concept once enjoyed by earlier generations. The majority of workers today are not entitled to a pension at the time of retirement.

•The sale of a home may not fund your retirement. Even downsizing may not free up enough assets for retirement. Financial advisors frown upon using assets from home sales to pay for retirement.

•You could outlive planned retirement funds. Now that life expectancies have increased, planning for a few years of retirement (thinking you'll go on to a better place shortly after ceasing work) is foolish. Many healthy individuals go on to live 20+ years after retiring. That is why saving as much as you can in your working years is essential to securing your financial future in retirement years.

If you haven't already done so, investigate your company's retirement saving program and make monthly (or weekly) contributions to a savings plan. You can also talk with a financial advisor about your saving goals and retirement plans.




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