A 5-Step Plan to Fill That Scary Retirement Income Gap

Posted: May 17, 2012 at 1:17 am

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The average American will face a 28% income shortfall in retirement, according to a recent survey by Fidelity Investments. And that's just the broad percentage: In dollars-and-cents terms, Gen Xers will be scrambling to find an extra $1,700 a month to cover living expenses, while baby boomers will fall a whopping $2,100 a month short of what they need to maintain their current standards of living.

That may sound like an insurmountable problem, but don't throw in the towel. As Fidelity's Kathy Murphy says, "finding the money to fill the income gap is not unattainable."

But if you want to do so, "take action now -- and the sooner the better."

Read the story on DailyFinance here

Here are five relatively easy steps you can take -- some as soon as today -- that will help prevent an income deficiency when you do retire.

1. Boost Your Stock Exposure. If you're 40 or younger, adding a higher percentage of stocks to your portfolio with a lower allocation to bonds will allow your portfolio to grow more quickly than if you were in a "safer" allocation focused on a higher bond exposure.

Stocks have historically grown at roughly 10% a year, but even an allocation of 83% stocks and 17% bonds (as Fidelity hypothetically uses) could return 8.4% a year.

Unfortunately, if you're older than 40, a higher allocation to stocks is riskier and -- although it could help your portfolio grow more rapidly -- could have a detrimental effect on your investments if you retire during a bear market.

2. Save More. A Lot More.

Most Americans still don't participate in employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s. And this is a colossal mistake.

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A 5-Step Plan to Fill That Scary Retirement Income Gap

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May 17th, 2012 at 1:17 am

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