The national financial education non-profit offers tips on how to plan for retirement despite economic hardships.
Boston, MA – December 4, 2014
Like many cities across America, the retirement system of Los Angeles suffered a huge hit during the nation’s Great Recession, and is still attempting to rebuild the program. As the city endures a budget deficit, pension issues are becoming more and more serious.
“Retirement saving is a huge source of stress for many Americans” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “It’s a top priority and a real challenge to make sure that, after paying off bills and debt, you will have enough money to live a comfortable life when you stop working. A lot of men and women underestimate how much is necessary to get by.”
ACCC provides some information on how to make sure to set yourself up for a comfortable retirement, even in a tough economic climate.
- Set goals for yourself. Try to be smart and predict your expenses and your needs. There are many financial calculators online that can help you predict what your goals should be.
- As you make more money, raise your retirement savings. The more you have, the more you should save. Set up automatic transfers into your savings from your checking. This is the best way to start saving for retirement.
- Check your retirement plan at your work place. 401k plans include many benefits including a direct deposit from your pay check. Like automatic transfers from your savings to your checking, this is another way to automate the saving process. Some plans include matching funds. Check with your employer, and if you do not have an employer-sponsored plan, you can set up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) which also has tax advantages.
- Start saving as much as you can, as early as possible. Monthly savings, no matter how small or large, over decades, will add up regardless of what the monthly value is.
- Keep your retirement account intact. If possible, do not tap into your account early. During hard times, it might be tempting to dip into your retirement funds, but it will be damaging over time. Doing so completely throws away all the hard work that you have done to save. It also takes away from any investments you could make. Stocks have a high chance of long-term growth. Early withdrawal also comes with a penalty and a tax bill on the money you take it. The short-term is not worth the cost and most likely, even if you say you will replenish the fund, it’s all too easy not to.
- Be wary of bonds. Over 10 to 15 years, inflation detracts from the money value of bond interest payments.
- If necessary, work part time. If it’s before retirement, you may only need to work an additional job for a brief time. Working part-time during retirement will not only add to your savings, but will allow you to remain socially engaged.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- For more information on financial education workshops in New England, call 800-769-3571 x1980
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial health through education, counseling, and debt management. ACCC provides individuals with practical solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC works with consumers to help them with the best plan of action to reduce their debt and regain financial stability. ACCC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating. It is also a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com. Follow ACCC on twitter @TalkCentsBlog.