Wednesday, December 03, 2008


AARP Finance - Can Americans Afford to Retire?

For many Americans, working for one employer for your career once meant you would receive money in retirement for the rest of your life. Together with the guaranteed, lifetime benefit from Social Security, workers with a company pension knew that they would have retirement income no matter how long they lived. But more and more employers have stopped offering guaranteed pension benefits and instead offer savings plans, such as 401(k)s, that require workers to plan for their own retirement. Today, financial security and peace of mind in retirement is in jeopardy as many people find that they do not have the time to figure out how much they need to save or have questions about how to best manage their investments.

Even though people are optimistic about their ability to save for retirement, consider this:

  • Half of all private sector workers do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k).
  • People are living longer, requiring even more savings and good investing decisions to make money last a lifetime.
  • Financial services and products are often confusing or too complicated. Getting good, unbiased financial guidance is often difficult.
  • Many people struggle to pay for basic household needs, health care or emergencies and build a nest egg at the same time.
More AARP Members need a way to save for their personal nest eggs before the government takes a bite out of their paychecks. Putting money in an employer-sponsored retirement plan with automatic payroll deduction, such as a 401(k), gives you an immediate tax deduction and you won't pay taxes on the investments in the account until you make withdrawals. Unfortunately, many Americans cannot get the tax benefits of saving because their employers don't offer automatic payroll deductions. Others never sign up for plans that are offered. The result is that too many people end up paying more taxes and not saving enough.

Every AARP Member should have a simple, effective, and easy to understand way to build their personal nest eggs. Businesses can make a difference by offering better retirement plans and savings incentives such as matching funds. Government can help by making it easier to save money tax-free and encourage more savings. And individuals must take responsibility by paying themselves first.

Redefining retirement

By 2010, 1 in 3 workers will be over the age of 50. There are 78 million Baby Boomers in America who are starting to move into their retirement years. However, this doesn't mean that all working boomers are going to leave the workplace.

The word 'retirement' doesn't mean what it used to. More and more people are working well past retirement age. In fact, 8 in 10 boomers say their idea of retirement involves some kind of work, whether part-time or full-time. They plan to work past age 65, and many plan to work well into their 70's.

Some boomers want to continue working, and others will need to. Some want to follow their passion, give back to society, and stay connected. For others, work will help them make ends meet and pay for health care.

Valuing experienced workers

AARP Members 50+ have a lot to contribute. They bring years of experience to the job. They offer valuable skills and loyalty. These employees have a strong work ethic, and they take work seriously.

And many employers 'get it.' They see the value in an experienced workforce. They want to hire and keep mature workers. That is why many companies are changing the workplace so they can take advantage of this great resource. Employers across the country are starting to offer options like flexible scheduling and job sharing, which can benefit all workers.

David Ogden - Tomorrows Home Business
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