What if you could take a glimpse into your retirement future? What would it look like? Would your retirement goals be obtained and would you be living the lifestyle you currently desire in the later years?
While you can’t see your future self in the retirement years, you can learn from others who have traveled the similar paths and most importantly, have done so successfully.
MoneyTips.com recently surveyed more than 500 Americans to uncover the secrets of successful retirees. The survey provides a lot of insight that can be used to either start your retirement plan, or even tweak your current plan based on their best practices.
The survey describes such information as the financial profile of successful retirees, where they live, what concerns them today, the percentage of gross income they saved for retirement and much, much more!
Would you agree many people don’t have an established plan for retirement or aren’t saving enough to support their future lifestyle goals? Putting such planning and savings off until later in life can lead to not having enough money and drastically changing your lifestyle or relocating to a less than desirable location.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at a few of the survey findings that really stood out to me.
Successful Retirement Survey Findings
Financial concerns in retirement – You might surmise that those in their elderly years might have financial concerns related to their health. If so,you’d be right. 24% of the survey participants do have financial concerns related to health issues possibly derailing their current financial position. For me, that’s a reminder of how important it is to maintain good health in the younger years and start healthy habits early! So how do they mitigate against health financial risks? The top 3 things survey participants have done are to carry Medicare, drive cars greater than 2 years old and spend less than their monthly income. I think we could gather that new cars aren’t exactly at the top of the list for these retirees and budgets are important. I’m not sure what to make of carrying Medicare off-hand, but being able to provide for adequate health insurance is certainly an important priority.
Interestingly, 50% of participants didn’t have any financial concerns. Overall, I think we can conclude financial preparedness and planning early in life is paramount. To see that 50% of these people don’t have financial concerns is a huge indicator of the work they’ve done while younger to help ensure they have a stable financial future.
Income for retirement savings – There is a lot to say about becoming an entrepreneur and funding your living and retirement based on the creation of an asset. A large amount of those surveyed (35%) depended on a career at a large company versus having their own. That just goes to show that working for a large company or someone else isn’t necessarily a bad approach. Large companies can provide great benefits as well as 401K matching that can help people plan better and save more for the future. At the same time, there weren’t as many entrepreneurial opportunities 10 or more years ago as there are now. With the growth of the web, it’s far easier to create an asset and start your own business online. That said, there is nothing wrong with starting a part-time gig in addition to your day job and of course, you never know where it will go!
Spending less than they earn – 52% of participants stuck to a budget. I didn’t say “had” a budget. I said “stuck to” a budget. Having a budget is just half of wise personal money management. Not only is it a good idea to have a monthly spending plan, people need to stick to it to be able to make forward progress in growthing their net worth. Most would at least admit to the importance of having a long-term plan for retirement, even if they don’t have one. That long-term plan would be difficult to obtain unless you have a monthly plan to help guide you. The monthly plan is what ensures you save adequately to fund your long-term lifestyle goals and can provide for future needs. If you don’t have the short-term plan, or monthly budget, it’s far too easy to overspend and live life for today versus thinking about the future.
Again, these are just a few interesting findings that I gathered from the survey. There are many more worth reviewing (free ebook download) and applying to your own retirement strategy and planning.
What did you find most interesting about the retirement survey results? Let us know in the comments!
Photo credit: American Advisors Group