Saturday, February 19, 2011

You want to work forever?

By Donald Sensing

One of the bennies of being under appointment in the UMC is that I get free financial consultation and planning through Ernst and Young, who are contracted by the UMC's General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits.

Recently I spoke with an E&Y advisor and told him I wanted to plan to retire at age 67 with at least $XX,000 per year of income from all sources. So they worked up an extensive plan and emailed it to me. Bottom line: if I want to retire at 67 with that income, I have to work until I am 80.

Just kidding. Actually, I am only slightly under glidepath. But tens of millions of Americans are far behind that. If you are still in your 30s or younger, understand one central fact: you cannot later ever make up years that you are not now using to build your retirement security. No matter how tight your budget is or what kind of lifestyle you are leading, if you are not putting at minimum between 5-10 percent of your gross income toward a retirement plan, you will almost certainly seriously regret it later. By the time you are in midlife, it needs to be 15 percent.

So read and heed, "Retiring Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short," because that could be you without proper stewardship of your resources.

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