It’s Never Too Late to Save for Retirement

Saving more money early is sound advice, but not always possible. You may be able to pick up the pace after the children are grown.

Maybe you haven’t looked at your 401(k) statement in a while, but if you have and it doesn’t seem like it will be enough for retirement, don’t panic, says Bloomberg in the article “Bigger 401(k) Contributions Are Easier for Empty Nesters.” How is that possible, when your car needs to be replaced soon and your youngest child is a freshman at a private college?

We all wish we had taken the advice printed in the 401(k) materials we got at work long ago: be disciplined about savings, put away 10% of your income and maybe 20%, if you can manage it. Every time you get a raise, increase your savings. The longer you wait to save, the more likely you’ll be among the millions of Americans struggling to maintain their lifestyle in retirement. You’ve heard all this. It was great advice. However, those recommended percentages are difficult to do.

It is little wonder then that the average combined 401(k) IRA account balance for American working households in 2016 is about $135,000, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. That would equate to a household income of $600 monthly in retirement. It is not quite enough to maintain your lifestyle, is it?

Before throwing your hands up in the air, consider that you are far from doomed. Instead, take the opportunity to build your household finances, by continuing to work. This is especially true, if you are an empty nester. The number one solution to a successful retirement, is working longer. Even a few years can have a large impact.

Empty nesters who are still working are in the best position of all. The cost of raising children is expensive. Well-off married couples with a child born in 2015 can expect that child to cost about $372,210 from birth to age 17 (that’s in 2017 dollars), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When the children are out of the house, cash flow changes.

If you can keep working, and if the children can become financially independent, your retirement saving should be able to shift into higher gear. The most important thing for empty nesters is not to get comfortable with the new cash flow, when the children move out. Instead, put away more.

Working longer has now become increasingly common. The civilian labor force participation rate of Americans ages 60-64 increased to 57% in 2018, from 44% in 1987, according to a report from the Brookings Institution.

Knowing that there’s time to save for retirement later in your career is liberating and not as difficult as saving while the children are still with you. There is time to restore your finances, if you take the right steps when the time is right.

Reference: Bloomberg (April 8, 2019) “Bigger 401(k) Contributions Are Easier for Empty Nesters”

Hear From Our Clients

“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce