Retirement Readiness Checklist

Retirement Readiness Checklist

retirement readiness

Most companies offer free help with their 401 plan and as you age and your financial landscape get more complicated, having a personal financial adviser becomes a must. The financial planning industry has been saying this for decades… we are unprepared. On so many levels, people everywhere, particularly in America, are not thinking enough, saving enough, or understanding enough, about retirement. Access to planning information and financial options correlates with retirement readiness, furthering the disparities between employer size and industry. Why is Retirement Readiness a mutual responsibility between the employee and the employer? If the employer doesn’t make a commitment to preparing its employees for retirement, who will?

  • At Waterfront Financial Group, we believe it is important to visit with each of your employees, every year, to connect on their plan assets and savings rate.
  • To determine Retirement Readiness, we focus on what the employee deposits as net income.
  • We look at their debt obligations and calculate a date which the debts will be retired.
  • Next, we check in to Social Security and assess the income rates at ages 62, 67 and 70.
  • We look at the current savings rate into the 401 plan, assess their accumulated savings, assess the investment allocation and run a calculation about the Future Value of their savings.

While the vision may be unique for each of us, the need for a predictable income stream that stretches through our retirement years is universal. You’ve spent your working career saving for retirement, now is the time to plan your paycheck for life. After more than 10 years with Maddock Douglas, an innovation consultancy with a large footprint in insurance and financial services, I’ve learned a lot about ways to predict what the future wants from an industry or business.


The first chance you’ll have to enroll in Medicare is your Initial Enrollment Period , which is three months prior to your 65th birthday. Less than 18 months after hitting an all-time high in October of 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 50 percent of its value in the wake of the housing market price collapse. Stocks have risk and volatility, and at this point of your life, less risk means less worry.

Our Retirement Readiness Program is designed to increase your plan participants’ chances of retiring on time and financially secure. We work with participants to develop a savings, investment and retirement strategy that provides security in retirement. An often-overlooked component to the health of a retirement plan is the ability for your employees to retire on time and financially secure. One of the most cited reasons for a failing retirement plan is the lack of a clear savings and investment strategy for participants. In addition, ongoing personal advice and support for retirement is crucial.

retirement readiness

Auto-IRA programs would make it easier for small employers to offer retirement savings programs to their workers, compared to setting up a 401 plan. With an Auto-IRA, employers would use their payroll systems to forward contributions made by their employees to specified financial institutions. In the process, employers would not otherwise be involved with the program and would incur no fiduciary liability, which is a common barrier cited by some employers for not offering such plans.

Government Accountability Office recently reported that 48% of households whose head of household is age 55 and over have no retirement savings. Finally, your retirement savings is something you can’t afford to get wrong.

View Courses That Will Help You Plan For Your Clients Retirement Readiness

At Waterfront Financial Group, we believe it is important to visit with each of your employees, every year, to connect on their plan assets and savings rate. To determine Retirement Readiness, we focus on what the employee deposits as net income. We look at their debt obligations and calculate a date which the debts will be retired. Next, we check in to Social Security and assess the income rates at ages 62, 67 and 70. We look at the current savings rate into the 401 plan, assess their accumulated savings, assess the investment allocation and run a calculation about the Future Value of their savings.

The T.R.U.S.T. Fund for America proposal would involve investing $7,500 in an account for every baby born after a specified date in the future. The money in these accounts would be invested in low-cost pooled funds similar to the Thrift Savings Plan currently offered to federal employees. The accounts would be invested significantly in stocks until the account holder reaches age 70. At that time, the accounts would be converted to a stream of retirement income, according to terms developed by an independent federal agency that would oversee the program. For us, preparing your employees for retirement is the ultimate goal.

retirement readiness

He also shares tips on how to help your employees move past them. At the same time, the study shows that despite a challenging environment, many American workers and retirees remain optimistic about their current life, their finances and their overall future. Mandated programs like universal savings accounts and Guaranteed Retirement Accounts could go a long way to eliminating poverty in retirement, when combined with Social Security benefits. However, as noted previously, many Americans don’t approve of mandated programs. The proposal for Guaranteed Retirement Accounts is also likely to encounter resistance by eliminating tax preferences for IRAs and 401 plans.

Transition To Retirement

Having employees who are growing older at work tend to have more health-related and physical problems that may lead to lower productivity. Employees who worry about not having enough money saved for retirement may have stress that leads to health issues. Having older employees traditionally costs employers more than younger workers – not only salary, but the cost of benefits.

We then look at various withdrawal rates to determine the extent to which the employee can have a reasonable expectation for their money to last the duration of their retirement. We add this to the social security figures and add any other pensions that can be expected, and compare their current standard of living to the future retirement need.

The program would guarantee that a participant’s account wouldn’t experience a net cumulative loss over the period of their participation in the plan. Upon retirement, at least 75% of the mandated accounts would be converted to monthly guaranteed lifetime annuities. At retirement, participants could withdraw from their accounts or buy a monthly guaranteed lifetime annuity. Expand retirement plan coverage to workers who currently don’t have access to savings plans at work. This solution encourages, but doesn’t mandate, retirement savings plans. By Steve VernonRegardless of whether you call it a crisis or a challenge, there are steps we can take to improve Americans’ financial resources for retirement. To help with this goal, a recent report from the Stanford Center on Longevity reviewed several studies of Americans’ retirement readiness.

retirement readiness

These costs can add up fast, and employers with unprepared workers may face higher costs, for each under-prepared worker, each year. Though Generation Z workers started saving at an earlier age and are participating in employer-based savings programs at a greater rate than other generations, they are nonetheless also worried about their future. The data suggests women directly impacted by COVID-19 have saved less than half the amount for retirement that men have and are much more pessimistic about their financial lives. In addition, women impacted by COVID-19 are less likely to have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan and are less likely to participate if they do have access. The hard reality is that adding broadly to Americans’ retirement savings will cost somebody some money—workers, their employers, or the U.S. government.

Being a named 3 fiduciary to your plan gives us the unique ability to provide one-on-one advice to your plan participants, develop a customized retirement path, and provide the ongoing support that is critical in a volatile market. Many employees are confused about retirement and are unprepared to retire on time. For workers age 55 – 64, some 62% have less than one times their average annual salary. Six out 10 Americans interviewed believe we are facing a Retirement Crisis. As more is learned about retirement planning, it is becoming increasingly apparent that retirement readiness needs to be about more than just money and accumulating assets. The problem is that most retirement readiness definitions and measurements have only focused on the financial side of the retirement equation. Without knowing what it will take to be happy in retirement and the health that may be expected , determining retirement readiness based solely on personal finances is nonholistic.

For several reasons, Retirement Readiness is becoming an employer issue. Unless otherwise specifically stated in writing, each such company does not, and is not undertaking to, provide impartial investment advice or give advice in a fiduciary capacity. To ensure you are ready for retirement, and to identify and review your unique situation as it relates to retirement planning, investment planning and estate planning, please contact us. Call us at , or visit our website at Once there, click the contact tab to schedule a no-obligation appointment to speak with one of Filbrandt & Company’s retirement planning specialists. When you leave the university, you will likely lose both of those benefits. You do have the option to inquire with the benefits office about the cost to have one or both of your insurance programs renewed through the university. If you retire before age 65, you’ll need some alternate health insurance coverage until you are eligible for Medicare.

Signs You Are Not Financially Ok To Retire

We did a prediction study in 2020 around the post-pandemic future of human advice, across industries that rely on intermediaries to sell products and services. One of the many compelling predictions is that empathy, within the next 3.6 years, is 77% likely to be more important than credentials when selecting an advisor. Being ready to retire financially may also need to coincide with being able to retire mentally and physically. Employers are in a key position to make a difference to their employees’ well-being. For many of your employees, your 401 plan is central to your employees’ retirement goals. You can offer a match to create motivation for employees to save more. If there is no match, there are plan-design strategies that help encourage more savings, like auto-enrollment and auto-escalation.

How much of my SS will my wife get when I die?

As noted above, if you have reached full retirement age, you get 100 percent of the benefit your spouse was (or would have been) collecting. If you claim survivor benefits between age 60 (50 if disabled) and your full retirement age, you will receive between 71.5 percent and 99 percent of the deceased’s benefit.

We will need to decide collectively if this cost is a priority for the U.S. compared to other societal challenges we face. If it is, the next step is to determine the method that will work best for American workers. The setback in Americans’ retirement readiness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic only adds to the urgency of this challenge. Guaranteed Retirement Accounts , proposed by Teresa Ghilarducci of The New School and Tony James of The Blackstone Group, would also mandate contributions of 1.5% of pay from both workers and their employers. Funds would accumulate in investment accounts that would be invested significantly in stocks for growth potential.

The retirement scenario of the future is far removed from the traditional model of employer-sponsored retirement plan and full benefits after a lifetime career at a single place of employment. Currently, workers are controlling what they can to prepare for retirement. More than one-third of workers from small businesses say their employer is “not helpful at all” in terms of retirement planning support and thus will frequently turn to family and insurance agents for advice. How much does it cost the employer to have under-prepared employees?

Next, answer a few simple questions including your age, annual income, your current retirement savings, your monthly savings, and a few others. At the end, you’ll see a score with an easy to understand graph showing you where you are in your journey. Use the boxes at the top and bottom of the screen to play with the numbers to see how you can raise your score. Getting to know you, your goals, your financial picture, and your investment perspectives is the most important aspect of our planning. We take a 360° view of your current situation and your future aspirations into plan development. Based upon our discovery, we determine the specialists and tools necessary to develop your personalized plan. Most of us have an image of what our lives will be like after we leave the working world—a point where we’ll have the time, energy and financial resources to do the things that will bring us personal enjoyment.

Are retirees happy?

Transamerica’s 2017 retirement study found that 97 percent of retirees with a strong sense of purpose were generally happy, compared with 76 percent without that sense. These retirees spent more time with family, traveling, doing volunteer work, and pursuing hobbies.

Experience shows that saving money from a paycheck before the employee receives the paycheck will likely result in significantly higher savings rates than saving on their own. It is time for employers to take a more active role in helping its employees to retire on time and with enough money. When you roll retirement savings outside of the university, you can lose access to some unique products that can have great benefits. During the pre-retirement time frame, you will almost certainly be approached by someone who will tell you it’s time to roll over your university retirement savings accounts to an IRA. By following the steps in this report, you will have a retirement budget established. Common expenses for people around retirement age involve health issues and extra travel. Keep in mind that you won’t receive 100 percent of your eligible monthly benefit unless you wait until your “full retirement date,” which is age 66 plus additional months for most people.

Voluntary programs like the Auto-IRA appeal to people who object to mandated government programs. The push-back to the Affordable Care Act demonstrated that many Americans don’t like mandates. However, because of the voluntary nature of an Auto-IRA, some workers will opt out or decide not to contribute. As a result, they might still fall short with their retirement savings. The basic idea behind an Auto-IRA is to get people started with saving for retirement. It doesn’t include a feature to convert savings to retirement income, which is a difficult task for many pre-retirees.

Getty Numerous studies—both past and current—report a looming shortfall of retirement savings for American workers who are approaching their retirement years. Some people call this a retirement savings “crisis,” whereas others characterize it as a serious retirement planning challenge.

If you wait until after your full retirement date, you’ll receive a monthly benefit more than your 100 percent full retirement date benefit amount. A good financial adviser will run a Social Security analysis for you so you have a clear picture of what you can expect over time. If you are uncertain about any of these items, or if you have not completed a detailed retirement income plan, it is time to contact a comprehensive financial planner. When it’s time to save for retirement, what gets in your employees’ way? Their own behavior toward money can actually create roadblocks to saving. In this Financial Advisor article, Ken Waineo, The Standard’s senior director of business development and operations for retirement plans, explains some common attitudes that can hamper your employees saving efforts.