Carefully thought out retirement plans can be sidetracked if unexpected events occur. You may be affected by large-scale events, such as a major economic downturn that has a negative impact on your financial situation. Or the circumstances might be on a more personal level, such as a health issue or injury that keeps you from working.
Take this quiz to consider ways to reset your expectations to stay on track as you work toward a secure retirement.
Learn more about saving, preparing for and living in retirement with our retirement planning toolkit.
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Your best laid plans for retirement can drift off course, often through no fault of your own. If you find yourself in a position where your targeted amount of retirement savings is not where you expected it to be, it may be time to take steps to adjust your strategy. This may involve continuing to work in order to generate income for longer than you initially planned.
You may also need to reconsider your Social Security start date. If you can delay receiving Social Security until age 70, your benefits could be up to 32 percent higher than at full retirement age (66-67, depending on when you were born).
You need to look at your circumstances realistically. Determine if it would be beneficial to push back your planned retirement date. This will allow you to save more money, avoid tapping your savings for an extended period and provide the opportunity to accumulate more in your account. Also, reassess your spending plans in retirement to see if you can make reasonable adjustments without greatly affecting your anticipated lifestyle.
If there’s a shortfall in your savings, one step is to try to boost contributions as much as possible. If you’re 50 and older, you can save significantly more in workplace savings plans and IRAs than previously. Even if you only have a few years left before retirement, it can make a big difference.
You can’t always control the events that affect your financial life. Review your retirement plan at least annually and be prepared to make changes that will help you maintain confidence in your long-term financial security.