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We are living longer, spending more and saving less. This is "America's Money Answers Man", Jordan Goodman's smart retirement strategies.
Currently, there are 76 million people in the US who are age 50 and older. Clearly, the issue of financial security in the retirement years is becoming an urgent issue for a good percentage of the population. In Goodman's book, Everyone's Money Book on Retirement Planning, consumers will learn how best to prepare for those expensive later years.
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Jordan E. Goodman is a weekly contributor to Public Radio International’s Marketplace in the Morning and appears frequently as a personal finance commentator on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, and Fox television. He also is a frequent guest on radio call-in shows around the country. On the editorial staff of Money magazine for 18 years, where he served as Wall Street correspondent, Goodman was also a weekly financial analyst on NBC News at Sunrise for 9 years and a daily financial commentator on the Mutual Broadcasting Network for 8 years. His frequent speeches, workshops, and media guest appearances around the country keep him in touch with consumers’ and investors’ financial interests. He is the author of Everyone’s Money Book, now in its third edition, as well as the coauthor of Barron’s Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms and Barron’s Finance and Investment Handbook.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Americans are living longer. It’s not uncommon to see people livinginto their 80s, 90s, and even reaching the century mark. In fact, 100-yearolds are the fastest-growing age group in the nation. Those who say goodbye to the 9-to-5 grind at age 65 may have 20 or more years in retirement. Trouble is, they’ll also need more in the retirement kitty to support that new lifestyle. The monthly check from Social Security will help, but it likely won’t take care of everything. That old standby, the traditional company pension paid for by your company, continues to isappear from the financial landscape. Increasingly, the onus is on you to prepare for your golden years to make sure they are golden.
How well you manage your finances will determine whether you have the means to fulfill the dreams that you finally have time to pursue, be it traveling, spending more time with family, continuing your education, or moving into that beachfront property you’ve always wanted. On the other hand,
you could wind up impoverished. According to a recent report from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 40 percent of Americans over age 60, regardless of their current economic circumstances, will experience poverty at some point in their later years.
It’s an ominous statistic. You don’t want to be one of the millions of Americans in poverty. Neither do most people. With approximately 76 million Americans now age 50 and over, retirement is suddenly not so far away. It’s not surprising, then, that retirement has become such a hot topic. Aplethora of information is available—from books,Web sites, seminars, magazines, newsletters, and software. You don’t have to search hard to find advice on the subject. Discussions of retirement are so prevalent that many Gen Xers, unlike their parents and grandparents, are already at least entertaining the notion of what they want later in life.
Though there’s no shortage of information, that’s not to say it’s being put to good use. According to many surveys, for the most part people are not saving or not saving enough for retirement, because they are operating blindly— they haven’t calculated how much money they need to save. Many are consumed with instant gratification, whereas others are trying to make ends meet and think they can’t afford to look beyond today to tomorrow. If it weren’t for employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s, some would have no retirement stash at all.
What seems to have gotten lost in all the retirement hubbub is that you can start small. Even saving $20 a week, or $1,040 a year, has the potential of growing to $50,000 in 25 years, assuming a 5 percent rate of return. Most everyone can salt away 20 bucks a week if they really want to. What’s important is to get started saving—and the sooner the better. Time works like magic, growing your money in ways you might never imagine, thanks to the wonders of compounding. But the truth is that even late starters—those in their mid-50s—are better off than those who don’t plan or put aside any savings.
The good news is that you’ve picked up this book. That’s a valuable first step. Your next move will be more challenging. First, you have to set goals. What’s the best-case scenario? How would you really like to spend your retirement years? What matters most? Perhaps the biggest questions are: How much will it take to finance your dreams and where will the money come from? And if there’s a shortfall, what are your options?
For many people, investing is still a mystery. How do you choose the right savings vehicles? What are the risks and potential rewards? How do you tap your investments once you’ve retired? I’ll help you answer the many questions surrounding your retirement. There is much to be considered. If you’re given an early retirement offer, do you accept it? What are the financial implications? Once you’re no longer under youremployer’s wing, how will you continue to protect yourself through life, health, disability, and long-term care insurance? How much willyou need, and where can you find the best deals? What can you expect from Medicare and Medicaid?
RETIRE WITH STYLE
Then there’s the whole issue of quality of life—enjoying retirement. One of the biggest questions is: Where will you live? There are a host of housing options. I’ll explain the advantages and limitations of each so you can decide for yourself which is likely to be your best bet. Retirement is also a time of opportunity—to continue your education, explore hobbies, volunteer, travel, or do whatever else makes you happy. I’ll explore those areas, too.
Without question, the notion of retirement is exhilirating and overwhelming at the same time. There’s much to be sorted out. That’s what this book is for. Each chapter is written simply and contains additional resources, such as links to organizations, Web sites, and publications that will help you along. I trust that this retirement book is unlike any other you find on the market in its comprehensiveness and ability to help you meet your retirement goals.
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