Retirement can be a hotly anticipated stage of life. But things are changing. With people living longer and the Baby Boomers retiring, there are important things we all might forget about retirement. We can't forget about how Social Security works, how much health care is going to cost and, of course, we can't forget that saving for retirement early is one of the most important things we can do to prepare.
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1. You may not be able to retire as early as you think.
Not on Social Security, anyway. At age 65, you can get 86.7% of your Social Security benefits as well as 100% of your Medicare benefits. Your retirement age is 66 if you were born before 1960.
If you were born after 1960, your retirement age is 67. That's when it comes to qualifying for full Social Security benefits. If you can't afford to save enough early in your life, and you need more money in retirement, you can consider a "worktirement."
2. You may not want to count on living off of Social Security alone.
How much money you receive in Social Security retirement benefits will depend on factors like how long you work, how much money you make while working and when you elect to start taking your benefits. Of course, it also depends on the whole structure remaining solvent until you retire.
Check out our Social Security calculator.
But even if Social Security is there for you in retirement at the amount you currently expect, it probably won't be enough to fund your dream golden years. It's a good idea to take control of your own financial future and plan to have your own savings to ensure your basic needs, as well as anything else you are hoping to accomplish in retirement.
The average retirement age in every state:
3. Your health care is likely to be more expensive than you think.
Medicare might not cover all of your health care expenses. Medicare is supposed to cover services such as surgeries, lab tests, doctor visits and supplies that are viewed as medically necessary to treat your disease or condition, as well as preventative treatment and medically necessary treatment.
However, if you have the Medicare Advantage Plan or a different Medicare plan, you may have somewhat altered services. And what if Medicare doesn't deem the treatment you need as medically necessary, or something covered in their plan?
It's important to have some backup funds for health care – especially as you get older and more prone to illness.
4. You need to start saving immediately.
You can start getting the tax benefits from a 401(k) immediately, which means that although your paycheck will be a little smaller (because you're putting some of it towards your retirement savings) it won't actually be that much smaller.
Check out our 401(k) calculator.
5. You may want to consider opening a Roth IRA.
The Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that you put after tax dollars into. Then withdrawals in retirement are 100% tax free. In addition, you can earn interest – untaxed interest. So if you put money into your Roth IRA when you're still young, you can earn tax-free money from the interest up until you need to tap into the account in retirement.
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