What to do When You Realize You’re Not Financially Ready for Retirement

Retirement age is approaching, and you may be thrilled to leave the nine-to-five behind for good. But what happens when your finances don’t align with the lifestyle you’ve been envisioning?

Bottom line: it’s never too late to get your finances in order. As part of National Financial Literacy Month, here are five tips to help boost your financial wellness.

  1. Max out your 401(k) contributions. In January 2022, the maximum contribution amount rose to $20,500 annually. If you’re not already, take advantage of this easy option to boost your savings.
  • 50 or older? Look into catch-up contributions. Once you’ve reached an eligible age, you can make an additional catch-up contribution of $6,500 for a grand total of $27,000 a year.
  • Rethink your investment style. Are you conservative? Are you taking risks? As you’re nearing retirement, it’s a good time to review your investment allocations and speak with a financial advisor about any potential changes that can benefit your savings goals.

4.   Delay collecting Social Security. The average Social Security benefit for the 64 million Social Security recipients in the U.S. is currently $1,657 per month. But waiting until you reach full retirement age makes it more likely that you can collect 100% of what the government offers.

For example, if you start collecting at 62, and your full retirement age is 66, you may miss out on 25% of your maximum benefit every month for as long as you live — and that adds up! Check out the Social Security Administration’s calculator to get an estimate of your future retirement benefits based on various age scenarios.

5.   Consider a reverse mortgage loan. Did you know that homeowners age 62 and older collectively own $9.2 trillion in home equity wealth? Your home is a unique asset. Its value increases over time as you build more and more home equity. So if you’re lacking in funds during your retirement years, a reverse mortgage can be a valuable financial tool that allows you to leverage your equity, while you continue to live in your home and maintain ownership.

You can receive reverse mortgage funds as a lump sum, a monthly payment or a line of credit that’s there if and when you need it*. And unlike a traditional loan, reverse mortgages don’t require monthly payments. You can pay as little or as much as you want — when you want. Just stay current with loan obligations including property taxes, insurance, maintenance

Remember, retirement comes with its own price tag. To live out your best years, you need a stable financial situation and a solid plan.

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