Feel like you’re behind on saving for college? You’re not alone. A recent study from Fidelity found that 70 percent of parents want to fully fund their child’s tuition and education costs. On average, however, parents are on track to cover only 29 percent of the costs by the child’s freshman year.1
College is a major financial challenge for many families. Unfortunately, it’s only getting more expensive. From 1988 to 2018 the average tuition for a private, nonprofit college rose 129 percent. Public college tuition rose 213 percent over the same period.2
The good news is there are savings tools available that are designed to help you accumulate assets specifically for education. Below are three such savings vehicles. Each offers its own benefits and considerations. Your financial professional can help you choose the strategy that’s right for you.
Is retirement approaching? Worried that you won’t have enough money? You have company. According to a recent study from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, baby boomers have a median retirement savings balance of only $147,000.1 While that number may represent a good start, it’s unlikely to be sufficient to fund a long retirement.
Baby boomers face a number of unprecedented retirement challenges. Many don’t have pensions, which means they have to shoulder the burden of funding their expenses in retirement. Retirees also have to contend with a longer life span, which means they need to cover more years of spending. Health care is also a substantial area of expense.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to correct course. With careful planning and quick action, you can retake control of your retirement. Below are three steps you may want to consider. A financial professional can help you analyze your needs and implement the best course of action.
According to a recent Gallup study, retirement is America’s top financial worry. The study found that more than 50 percent of Americans are concerned that they won’t be able to fund their retirement.1
It’s easy to fall behind on your retirement planning. If you’re like many Americans, you have other financial challenges that may seem more pressing. Perhaps you’re struggling with debt. Maybe you’re paying for your child’s education. When you add up your normal expenses, it may be difficult to find additional funds to put toward retirement.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to correct course and get back on track. Below are a few warning signs that you aren’t as prepared as you should be. If any of these sound familiar, it may be time to develop a new strategy. A financial professional can also help you implement a retirement strategy.
Approaching retirement soon? If so, you’re probably thinking about income—specifically, where your income will come from in retirement. You’ll probably draw income from multiple sources, including Social Security, retirement account distributions and possibly even a pension.
While Social Security is helpful, it usually isn’t sufficient to fund a comfortable retirement. That’s why many retirees also rely on withdrawals from their savings and investments. Unfortunately, that income usually isn’t guaranteed. A market downturn could impact your income. Or you could deplete your assets if you live longer than expected.
Do you own an IRA? If so, you have company. According to a 2013 study, Americans hold nearly $2.5 trillion worth of assets inside IRA accounts.1 Much of those assets are held in traditional IRAs.
Traditional IRAs, 401(k) plans and similar qualified accounts are popular savings tools because of their tax-favored treatment. You can fund these accounts with pretax dollars. Also, your growth is tax-deferred as long as the funds stay in the account. You can’t avoid taxes on these dollars forever, though.
You can defer distributions from your IRA or 401(k) up to age 70½. At that age, however, you must begin taking required minimum distributions, also known as RMDs. The amount of your RMD is based on several factors, primarily your age and your end-of-year account balance. Generally, your withdrawal will increase relative to your balance as you get older.
A budget can be one of your most valuable financial tools as you plan your retirement. Your budget can help you plan your required income and make smart buying decisions. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t use a budget. According to a study from U.S. Bank, only 41 percent of American households rely on a budget to guide their spending.1
Even if you don’t use one today, there’s nothing saying you can’t change that habit in retirement. However, you may find it difficult to project your future expenses. After all, you can’t predict the future. You can, though, use your current expenses and your plans for retirement to develop an accurate estimate of your anticipated spending.
The new year is upon us. For many people, that signals an opportunity to implement new strategies and pursue important resolutions. One of your major goals may be to catch up on your retirement savings. If so, you’re not alone. According to a Gallup study, more than half of Americans are worried about their ability to afford retirement.1
The good news is it’s never too late to take action and stabilize your financial future. Perhaps you started saving for retirement late in your career. Or maybe you suffered some setbacks along the way that limited your ability to save. You can make 2018 the year that you get back on track and take control of your retirement plans.
For many, New Year’s is a time to look to the future and start fresh. It’s a time to set goals and chart a new course. You may be looking at your family’s finances as one area where you can implement new habits and strategies. Perhaps you’ve fallen behind on your savings or feel that you may be too exposed to risk. The new year might be the right time to analyze your current situation and make changes.
The good news is there are many steps you can take to strengthen your family’s financial picture that are relatively simple. Below are five such steps. Use the new year as a time to reflect on your current financial picture and take action to make improvements. If you haven’t undertaken the following steps, now may be the time to do so.
Retirement is a major financial challenge for many workers. In fact, according to a study from Gallup, it’s the top financial worry for 54 percent of Americans.1 They’re concerned that they won’t be able to save enough money to fund their desired lifestyle in retirement.
Retirement planning isn’t just about saving, though. While it’s important to accumulate assets during your working years, you also need a plan to make those assets last throughout retirement. It’s possible your retirement could last decades, so you’ll need a strategy to make sure you don’t outlive your money.
Many retirees, however, find that these assumptions are not accurate. In fact, it’s possible that your spending will actually increase after you retire. Fortunately, you can keep your spending under control by understanding some of the unique factors faced by retirees.
It’s a common assumption among many workers, retirees and even financial professionals that spending goes down after you retire. In fact, many retirement plans are built on the assumption that retirement spending will be a fraction of your preretirement income needs.