Seniors often find they can not keep up with piling bills, online payments, and more with age. Plus, there is always the “are you working” question, and then there is the feeling that older people’s money is being wasted on lifestyle items. The truth is, our spending habits may be setting us up for failure. Remember that a great percentage of seniors end up in need of assistance from a senior living community like the respite care at Toms River, NJ.
Below are some reasons why today’s seniors need to be in control of how they spend their retirement dollars.
Social Security pays for nursing home care.
There are thousands of people in nursing homes in the U.S., but about 150,000 are over the age of 70 and more than 50,000 are over the age of 100. In the past, they could either stay in their home with their loved ones, or they could seek out a caregiver. What happened? With the rise of Medicare, the government will take over all the work needed to care for those living in nursing homes. For those without jobs, who can afford this burden? A survey conducted by US News & World Report reported that more than 70 percent of the seniors surveyed had not found an employer willing to pay for their care (62 percent had used up their personal savings to stay in their home).
Your savings in the retirement market can go down dramatically.
When I entered the work force, I looked forward to savings and retirement. Today, I sit on savings, along with other older adults, for at least 10 to 15 years after the actual retirement age. The retirement savings of a worker will likely last 15 to 20 years at the most, and will take a long time to recoup.
Some retirees put money into individual accounts in retirement.
At a time when people are still in the work force, and with a retirement age that’s approaching and younger workers entering the workforce, it makes sense to focus on managing your personal investments. A study published in the Journal of Financial Planning stated that “excessive investments in private individual retirement accounts tend to have a significantly negative impact on retirement income.”
Social Security benefits don’t grow along with the stock market.
For years, when a person wanted to retire, they either worked longer, or worked less to try and accumulate enough to qualify for Social Security benefits. The financial thinking went that the money would grow and reward them. Instead, it has not. Since 2008, the stock market has surged around 20 percent. And just like that, Social Security benefits were cut.
Social Security benefits can not be fully accounted for.
“Government accounting standards allow the number of beneficiaries of Social Security and the trust funds to be overstated,” said US News & World Report.
Retirement accounts aren’t an option for people with no 401(k) account.
Even if you have a 401(k) account with company, your investment options are limited. One issue is that they don’t tell you exactly how much you can put into your retirement account. You can put in up to $18,000 into a 401(k) plan, and another $18,000 in a Roth IRA. If you do these two things, then you can have as much as $36,000 in your retirement account with your employers. This is far above the usual amount of $14,000 to $18,000 you need for retirement savings.