One of the greatest myths for future retirees is that expenses will drop when you retire. Some think their living expenses will virtually cut in half overnight.
However, that is usually not the case. In fact, oftentimes retirees spend more in retirement (especially in the first few years) than they did during their working days. Why is that?
Myth #2 – Social Security Will Provide for Most of My Retirement Needs
Many people are led to believe that they’ll manage to live just on Social Security in retirement. In most cases, however, that’s just not doable. Today, Social Security pays the average recipient only $1,461 a month in benefits. Over the course of a year, that’s $17,532. Meanwhile, the average retired household spends $46,000 a year. So there is a pretty large disconnect between the two. Property taxes alone in some blue states amount to what some receive all year in Social Security payments.
Myth #3 – I Can Just Keep Working
Surveys show that many people nearing retirement would prefer to continue working to close any gaps they feel they have in their retirement funding. Or they want to continue working because they have no plans for their free time after they retire. Regardless of which reason, they want to keep working- and it does provide a dual benefit- it gives a further boost to your nest egg while at the same time reduces the number of years you’ll need to live off it.
Myth #4 – It’s Too Late To Start Saving
They say the eighth wonder of the world is compound interest. And it obviously has a bigger effect the earlier you start saving, but you’re never too old to take advantage of its power to grow your money.
Aside from compounding, the IRS gives other incentives to save for those nearing retirement. IRAs, 401Ks, and other tax-advantaged plans give investors that are 50 and older the ability to make ‘catch up’ contributions. Those Traditional and Roth IRAs can make an additional $1,000 each year per investor. 401Ks and like plans can add $6,000 as a catch-up.
Myth #5 – Taxes Will Be Much Less In Retirement
As you’ve seen in previous points, where we show your need to save more, invest more, and possibly work more – you will probably not be reducing your overall income that much. So if your income isn’t going to drop, then you shouldn’t assume with any honesty that your tax bill will drop.
The Trump tax cut reduced rates, but removed certain deductions. Even if we call it a wash, not many would bet that rates would drop further from here. The easy bet would be to wager they will only rise from here.