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    Posted September 11, 2015 by
    West Chester, Pennsylvania

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    Recent Crop of Consumer Retirement Fears Highlights Need to Shift Strategies in Golden Years

    People are living longer, retiring later -- and running short on money in their so-called golden years.

    The recently released Northwestern Mutual 2015 Planning and Progress Study reveals that most Americans expect to retire at age 68. However, the average is closer to 62 – showing that at the outset, Americans tend to underestimate how long they’ll be in retirement.

    Of those who say they’ll work past 65, two-thirds say they’ll do so out of financial necessity.

    A related study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) released the same week showed that more than half of Americans say they’ll need to save at least $1 million by retirement. Yet the average balance of the typical worker savings account is just $63,000.

    Even in Baby Boomer households, which is the generation closest to retirement, the average account held just $132,000.

    Americans clearly suspect they’re running short of their goal, but they have no idea by just how much.

    Yet what most consumers don’t realize is that after retirement, the focus needs to shift from accumulation to liquidation – and that’s where knowledge and a cohesive, holistic team of advisors comes in.

    “Retirement is really the halftime to a two-part money game,” said Matt Dodge, former NFL player for the New York Giants and investor advisor representative at Market Street Wealth Management, a Westchester, PA-based financial advisory firm. “The first half is the working years; the second half is the golden years.

    Unfortunately, the majority of financial advisors focus on growth rather than how to get money out of accounts, Social Security, Medicare, and maximizing pensions and estate planning.”

    First and foremost, Dodge says, consumers need to take control of their own planning strategies and make sure all advisors on their team work together – much like the coordinators and coaches on a professional football team.

    The recent studies show just how dire that need is. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed by Transamerica said they simply guessed when asked how much they thought they needed to save for retirement. And two-thirds acknowledged that they don’t know as much as they should about retirement investment.

    "With regard to saving and planning for retirement, there's no such thing as an 'average' American,” said TCRS president Catherine Collinson. “Each demographic segment faces its own unique opportunities and challenges. Nevertheless, all workers face retirement-related risks and the need to take greater personal control of their long-term financial security.”
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