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Do you find yourself lying awake at night thinking about when you will retire? How do you feel when you think about these things? Do you feel confident? Or do you feel a sense of foreboding and apprehension?
If your feelings are running along the lines of the latter, then you are experiencing retirement stress. You are not alone in all of this. A lot of people, especially those who are near the retirement age are losing sleep over their retirement. And there is good enough reason why.
Based on the retirement statistics found on StatisticBrain.com, the scenario is not too promising. The average savings of 50 year olds are only at $43,797. If the average retirement age is 62 and the length of retirement reaches up to 18 years, then this will not suffice. The site also mentions that a couple over 65 will need $215,000 to cover medical expenses over a span of 20 years.
The statistics show that 80% of those between the ages 30-54 do not think that they will have enough fund when they retire. No wonder people are experiencing retirement stress. With 35% of 65 year olds and above relying on Social Security, you will wonder if this will be the same fate that you will have.
3 reasons why you are stressed over retiring
Generally, there are three major reasons why you are feeling a bout of retirement stress.
You do not have enough. The first and major reason to feel anxious about retiring is when you know that you do not have enough funds to finance your needs. When you retire, you stop working and that means you do not have a stable source of income for your monthly requirements. If you only rely on your Social Security, it will not be enough to finance your basic needs - let alone the medical expenses that you will surely face. We all know how the cost of living rises and health care costs are rising even faster. You need to have the money to finance these needs. Otherwise, your retirement may not be as comfortable as you hoped it would be. Worse, you may have to forego certain medical treatments because you cannot afford it. These are the scenarios that will surely keep you up late at night.
You still have debts. Another reason why you are experiencing retirement stress is because you still owe a lot of debts. When you barely have enough to pay for your basic needs and your medical expenses, you can be sure that debt payments will have no room in it. This is a scary scenario because the creditors can come after you to get the assets that you have. Do you really want to start your retirement by declaring yourself bankrupt?
You are running out of time. Lastly, another reason to fear for your retired life is when you know that you do not have enough time to be financially ready for it. Most people are wondering, will they be able to retire at 67? Or earlier? Most people are feeling retirement stress is because they know that the clock is ticking and they are pressured to get rid of debts and save up for their retirement. If you have limited resources to begin with and you need to take care of both, will you have enough time to be ready for retirement? It seems like a long stretch and a lot of people are forced to forego their dreams of retiring early. If this is you, then you know that you need to pull your act together and start working hard.
Tips to help you prepare for retired life
Given your current situation, you want to make sure that you let go of retirement stress so you can focus on the task at hand. When you have worries over your head, that will keep you from concentrating on the problem at hand. Try to keep your high strung emotions from hindering your full potential to grow your money in time for retirement.
Here are some of our suggestions.
Make a plan. If you have a retirement plan, no amount of stress will keep you from the things that you have to do. This is important as it will serve as your roadmap towards a great future.
Take advantage of your employer’s contributions to your 401(k). Some employers match whatever you put into your contributions and you may want to take advantage of that. This is free money after all!
Do not withdraw your 401(k) early. Some people are tempted to pay off their debt with 401(k) funds. Having less money in your retirement fund will not help your stress level go down so avoid this at all cost.
Invest your money. If you are worried about not having enough money in time for retirement, then you may want to invest some of your money in stocks, bonds or mutual funds. That way, you can grow your money in different baskets. It will be faster and if one fails, you can be assured that the others can keep you from losing everything.
Lower your expenses. If you want to increase your money to afford debt payments, you may want to keep your expenses down. You can downsize if the kids are all out of the house. Think about getting rid of the stuff that are just cluttering your home. Sell them off and make money out of them. That will help grow your retirement fund or help you pay off your debts faster.
To keep your retirement stress from distracting you from the things that you have to do, stop obsessing about time. There is no sense in thinking about the mistakes that you made in the past. Just move forward, trust in the plan that you made and strictly follow it.