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Why Most Americans Don’t Know Their Retirement Savings – And What You Should Do About About It!

A new report from the TIAA Institute indicates that a significant portion of the population, about 1 in 4 Americans, is in the dark about their retirement savings. This lack of awareness is not just an oversight. It is a glaring red flag signaling a serious underestimation of the importance of post-retirement life planning.

But fear not! There are actionable steps you can take to avoid finding yourself in a precarious situation come retirement.

What You Should Do If You Haven’t Saved for Retirement Yet

In the face of such widespread unawareness, the question arises: What should one do to start steering their retirement savings in the right direction? The TIAA Institute’s findings urge an immediate and robust response to this dilemma.

Tima / Pexels / Allocate at least 15% of your income for retirement savings to spend your post-retirement with grace.

Start Saving Now by Embracing the 15% Rule

The golden rule emerging from the institute’s report is clear: allocate at least 15% of your yearly income towards retirement savings. This figure is not arbitrary. It is a strategic target designed to build a robust nest egg that can sustain a dignified and comfortable lifestyle in retirement. Starting to save, regardless of your age, is imperative.

If 15% seems steep, begin with a more manageable percentage and incrementally increase it. The key is consistency and the recognition that every contribution, no matter how small, compounds over time.

Maximize Employer Contributions and Retirement Accounts

For those employed with access to employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s, contributing enough to get the full employer match is crucial. This is essentially free money and a boon to your savings efforts. Additionally, exploring Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) can offer tax advantages and serve as another vessel for your retirement savings.

Andrea / Pexels / The report from the TIAA Institute suggests that it is the lack of longevity literacy that is stopping Americans from thinking about retirement savings.

Reevaluate Your Retirement Lifestyle

Adjusting expectations can be a powerful tool in your retirement planning arsenal. If you are starting late, consider the possibility of an extended career or a part-time job in retirement. Adapting your future lifestyle and spending habits can also make a significant difference in how comfortably you live in your later years.

Knowing Your Savings Is the First Step Toward a Secure Retirement

Understanding the current state of your retirement savings is crucial. Without this knowledge, planning for the future becomes a shot in the dark. Here is how to shed some light on your financial readiness for retirement:

Begin by gathering data from all your savings accounts, including 401(k)s, IRAs, and other investments. This comprehensive view is the foundation of your retirement planning.

Set Regular Check-Ins

Your retirement plan should evolve with your financial situation. Regularly reviewing your savings progress and adjusting your contributions accordingly ensures you remain aligned with your retirement goals.

Tima / Pexels / Not knowing your retirement savings means you are not serious about your post-retirement life, the report warns.

What Does the TIIA Institute Report Say

The TIAA Institute’s report serves as a critical examination of the retirement planning landscape in America. Highlighting the lack of “Longevity Literacy” as a key factor, the report warns that not knowing your retirement savings equates to not taking your future seriously.

This call to action is not just about starting to save. It is about changing our collective mindset towards retirement planning.

So, the findings from the TIAA Institute underscore a pervasive issue in America’s approach to retirement readiness. However, within this challenge lies an opportunity for change. By embracing the recommended strategies, you can take control of your financial future.

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