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Americans are worried about affording their golden years but aren’t saving for it

Apparently, many other financial goals are standing in the way of you and a solid retirement savings.

Americans are concerned about how they will be able to afford to live into their golden years, but instead of stashing away money for it, they’re thinking of right now rather than later on, insurance group Country Financial says. Most of us are more worried about emergencies, health care, and vacations than our retirement.

Because older Americans are more concerned with short-term goals rather than long-term ones, many fresh retirees are finding out the hard way that once they can’t work anymore, it’s too late. They didn’t do enough when they were younger to afford to retire comfortably — some don’t even “retire” at all, and work through their golden years.

According to the Country Financial survey, 44 percent of us are most worried about being able to afford unexpected expenses, while only 22 percent fear not being able to ever retire. Also among the findings:

  • 41 percent are concerned about healthcare costs
  • 36 percent are worried about being able to take a vacation
  • 28 percent want to keep up their current lifestyle
  • 28 percent are concerned about affording their monthly payments
  • 11 percent don’t have any financial worries at all

“Many people today are outliving their assets because they did not include retirement in their long-term financial goals,” says Country Financial executive VP Doyle Williams. “Americans need to seek financial guidance now so they can eliminate the fear of never being able to retire. By taking some simple steps almost everyone can put a plan in place to secure their financial future.”

New health problems, but no cash

With Americans living longer, retirees are spending more time in retirement than in years prior. Country Financial suggests budgeting until you’re 90 years old, unless you’ve got a family history or personal health history that implies you won’t make it that long.

For some of us, health care will cost much more than it will for others. Women, for example, will pay more for health care later in life simply because they are women. Since ladies are living longer than their male counterparts, they end up shelling out more cash later in life.

Because of the wage gap, women also earn less money from the very start of their careers. Saving for retirement is even harder on them throughout their lives because they face financial setbacks much earlier. Women might not see true equal pay for more than 200 years, so affordable health care costs for them could be further away than that.

So if you’re coming up on retirement time and you anticipate growing health problems (or may already be facing them), what should you do? One option is: Move. Your state may be offering a more expensive plan for long-term health care compared to others, so look around to see if moving makes sense for you. Downsizing to a smaller place could also mean big savings.

Also, consider opening a health savings account. There may be some gaps in your regular insurance coverage, so contributing to an HSA now might save you thousands of dollars when you otherwise couldn’t afford it.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Retirement

401k, health, health insurance, save money

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