Will you be ready for retirement?

Are you bummed out about retirement? Fortunately, there's hope.

According to a new survey from Nationwide’s Retirement Institute, 28 percent of recent retirees say life is worse in retirement, citing income and cost of living as the top reasons. American adults age 50 or older are also concerned about a variety of possible changes to Social Security – with most not expecting the government program to last. In fact, 78 percent of future retirees worry Social Security funding will run out in their lifetime – the highest this sentiment has been in the last four years.

The survey shows undercurrents that relate to broader negativity: future retirees' expectations differ from current retirement realities, health care costs continue to be a driving concern and many future retirees do not understand basic elements of the Social Security program, which can complicate appropriate planning.

Key differences exist between older Americans' retirement expectations and the realities of most current retirees, especially as they relate to Social Security benefits. On average, future retirees expect to wait until age 65 to collect Social Security benefits, while most current retirees say they began receiving them at age 62 on average, suggesting a disconnect in planning between the two groups. For example, future retirees expect to receive $1,578 in monthly Social Security benefits, which is more than the $1,487 average monthly benefits of recent retirees and the $1,308 of those who retired more than 10 years ago.

The differences don't stop there. Most American adults age 50 or older anticipate spending their benefits on living expenses such as groceries and housing. Future retirees expect to spend 29 percent on housing, 23 percent on groceries and 20 percent on health care. However, retirees now are somewhat more likely to say they spend their benefits paying health care costs rather than on housing.

It’s time to start planning and saving

The various predictions and misconceptions of the Social Security program leave plenty of room for uncertainty. The best way to prepare for both planned and unplanned expenses is by saving for your retirement – starting now. A good place to start is with a TCU no-fee Traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA). An IRA is a great way to save and supplement your income so you can enjoy financial security in your retirement years.

It’s never too late to start investing for a better tomorrow. For more information on our retirement accounts, visit www.traviscu.org/IRA.

Traditional and Roth IRAs