Yet another survey has shown that the state of retirement savings in the United States is, well, grim. A national survey conducted found that 52 percent of respondents are far behind in their retirement savings goals. The survey also found that 16 percent said they are right on track with their goals and just 11 percent have saved more than planned. Twenty percent shared that they are unsure of the status of their retirement savings.
While these numbers may be concerning considering the importance of having a solid plan in place for retirement, there are few things you can start doing today to get caught up if you happen to be a part of the majority who are behind.
Put your finances on a diet: Sit down and take an honest look at where your spending “holes” are. Divide your expenses into categories that are necessities such as your housing costs, transportation, food, etc. and then create additional categories for the things you may be able to cut. These categories may be more difficult to assess, but it is helpful to consider if the comfort they provide now outweighs the comfort retirement savings could provide later. If not, it’s time to reassess.
Start saving today: While this one may seem obvious, it’s worth a reminder. After you scrutinize where your money is going each month and put a budget into place, take the extra funds you are saving and re-route them into your retirement savings. If your employer provides the benefit of a 401(k) program with matching, make sure you’re enrolled in it and are contributing accordingly so you’re not leaving “free” money at the door.
Explore an HECM loan*: If you’re nearing retirement and don’t know if you’ll be able to catch up on time, a HECM loan may be a solution for you. This type of loan allows seniors 62 and older to utilize the equity in their homes. If approved, this equity is converted to cash payments that can be used for everyday expenses during retirement, including medical payments, travel, home improvement projects and more. Payments are not made until your home is sold or you pass away.
If you think a HECM loan may be right for you, I’d love to discuss your specific financial goals and where you’re at in your retirement planning. Having a plan in place can give you the peace of mind you deserve in your retirement years, and a HECM loan may be a key part of this plan.
*(1) at the conclusion of a reverse mortgage, the borrower must repay the loan and may have to sell the home or repay the loan from other proceeds; (2) charges will be assessed with the loan, including an origination fee, closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums and servicing fees; (3) the loan balance grows over time and interest is charged on the outstanding balance; (4) the borrower remains responsible for property taxes, hazard insurance and home maintenance, and failure to pay these amounts may result in the loss of the home; and (5) interest on a reverse mortgage is not tax-deductible until the borrower makes partial or full re-payment. This material is not from HUD or FHA and has not been approved by HUD or any government agency.