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Retirement blues

May 7th, 2011 at 06:47 am

So, last night I finished reading Chatzky's "Ten Commandments of Financial Happiness" -- skipping a lot of it because of things that didn't apply to my life. What really got to me was the section on retirement savings. The gist of it is, she recommends saving much more than I am capable of saving. At this point in my life, with only five years of working life left, I would need to save $1140 a month to meet a post-retirement standard of 70% of my current income. I can occasionally save around $700, but that's my highest level, and it's only on the months where nothing is happening. I only bring home $2472 a month, so I can't logically save more than a thousand.

I know I've made a lot of mistakes that brought me to this point, but it's too late to rectify them now. I can only continue to do my best and not get depressed about it. Good to have the wake-up call so I don't get complacent.

I will start getting a retirement benefit at work soon -- any time now, as my two-year anniversary is May 17 -- so that will help a little.

Scary.

6 Responses to “Retirement blues”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Just keep doing the best you can do. Keep looking for ways to save or increase income for retirement savings. I don't know what age you expect to retire, but if you are healthy you can work longer if needed.

  2. Steve Says:

    There isnt any reason for you to have the blues about what you have in retirement savings. You have SOMETHING and thats more than alot of people can say. So Just be Happy.

  3. Petunia 100 Says:

    I get stressed and worried too, thinking that my goals are too low as it is and I may not hit them. Just yesterday I was reading a post on Vanguard's Blog about "your number" and there were sooooo many people concerned that their 2 million might be insufficient. Bleh! I won't have anything close to that! Panic raised its head for a moment. But then I remembered, I can only do the best I can do, and that is all that you can do too.

    Have you considered the fact that $2472 less $700 is $1772, so if you had $1772 of monthly income, that is 100% of what you spend now? Your SS benefits are most likely at least half of that, if not more. If your savings are insufficient to generate the rest, there are alternatives you could consider. Part time work, a roommate, you might even consider buying your next home with a reverse mortgage. (You would put about half down, take a reverse mortgage for the other half. No monthly payments and you retain the rest of your cash.)

  4. retire@50 Says:

    my experience has been that I need much less than all the books and retirement websites said I did after retiring. That might be your experience too. What I did was create a current budget and an after retirement budget to see what I really needed instead of guessing at a percentage. You may find you need less than you think.

  5. davera Says:

    Seems like a good approach may be to consider your likely expenses, and use those to project your retirement needs, rather than on an arbitrary 80% of current income. You may find that you'll have plenty to be comfortable, as retire@50 has found.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    Thank you, everyone. I do know that I'm doing my best, and I have a feeling things will work out. It's just that every once in a while I get a glimpse of what "everyone else" is doing and I feel a little bit of panic.

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