Money Matters: How late starters can still save for retirement

Reported by: Brittany Price
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Updated: 5/22/2013 10:11 am

There's still time for late-starters to get the ball rolling on retirement.

"It's money in and money out, those are the two ends of the equation. Try to figure out how to get more in and then look at what's going to be coming out to support the lifestyle you want for retirement," Christopher Robinson, Senior Vice President at Lubbock National Bank said. 

Robinson said the "money out" side has changed in recent generations.

"Retirement is not sitting on the front porch on the rocking chair and just waiting. Many pursue lifestyles and hobbies that they didn't have time to when they were pursuing their career; that costs even more money," Robinson said. 

Conventional wisdom indicates to keep up with the lifestyle you're accustomed to, you'll need to live on 70 percent of what you make per year pre-retirement.

"However, as we talk to retirees today, many are saying that 70 percent is not enough," Robinson said. 

Once savers calculate lifestyle expenses, focus on ways to increase cash-flow in. One option is delaying retirement.

"Many are working past that 65 year retirement age to be able to extend those income-earning years to fund retirement," Robinson said. 

Robinson advises to also take advantage of catch-up contributions.

"If you have a company-sponsored 401k plan you can contribute additional funds beyond the maximum for people under 50 years of age. This year that's an additional 5,500 dollars," Robinson said. 

Extra funds, like a bonus, should be saved and not spent.

"I know that's fun and you want to celebrate, but many companies allow you to defer that bonus into your retirement plan," Robinson said. 

Some may consider an additional job.

"Working from home is a common thing now, or a second side job or business to supplement income now," Robinson said. 

That's because social security shouldn't be relied on as a sole-source.

"Social security only replaces 25 to maybe 45 percent of your pre-retirement income," Robinson said. 


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