The best way to prepare for retirement might just be listening to those going through it. In a new report, retirees shared their advice for current workers. The survey asked more than 1,000 retirees between the ages of 55 and 80 their thoughts on their post-work lives. What they said might just help you when the time comes to retire. Here are some takeaways.
Earlier and More
When asked about their biggest regret, a whopping 70 percent of retirees said they wished they saved earlier and invested more. In other words, if you haven’t started saving and investing, you should get started now. Consider the “72 Rule” — a formula that guesses when your investments will double. As USA Today notes, to find your number, divide 72 by your projected growth rate. If you take the average yearly return at about seven percent, that means your investments will double roughly once every 10 years. If you put off investing by 10 years, that’s a lot of cash you’d be missing out on.
Of the 1,100 retirees surveyed for the study, only 42 percent said they identified financial goals and then developed a written plan to obtain them. The reasons cited for failing to do so included “lack of knowledge,” procrastination and unexpected life events. Without a proper retirement road map, it can be quite difficult to enjoy a smooth post-work ride. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to plan for retirement, ask a professional for help.
A little more than half of retirees said they considered inflation an “area of concern.” You can help stem the inflation tied by investing in stocks and — if you’re financially able — real estate. The former typically outpaces inflation, while the value of the latter tends to rise with it.