(BPT) - It's no secret that Americans aren't saving enough for retirement. Many people are coming up short when it comes to funding their nest egg. But why is the problem so wide-spread? Insight can be found in the human behaviors that tend to get in the way of saving adequately.
With National Save for Retirement Week the third week in October, now is the perfect time to learn more about the most common hurdles of retirement savings. The experts at Prudential Retirement note the top five challenges to being retirement ready include:
1. Living longer
Did you know a baby born today is more likely to live to 100 than to be born with blue eyes? The fact is, people are living longer, and it's hard to know how long you'll live. You may live many years beyond retirement, a time when you're no longer creating income. The challenge is we still believe we're living to 70 or 75 - but think about it. How old is the oldest person you know alive today? Chances are, you know someone who is well into their 90s. Saving for retirement now prepares you for the exciting possibility of having a longer retirement.
It's human nature to procrastinate. And while some things take the same amount of time to do whether completed today or a year from now, others only get harder to do the longer you delay them. Saving for retirement is one example - every year you don't save for retirement is less money you may have when it comes time to retire, making it that much more difficult to reach your goals and pursue your dreams.
People in general are optimistic, which is a wonderful quality, except when it comes to retirement planning. It's easy to think bad things won't ever happen to us - including unexpected health issues, loss of a job, or a bad accident. It's important to be realistic when planning for retirement, and always plan for the unexpected.
4. Following the pack
Humans are social beings. If enough people are doing something, we tend to want to follow because we assume there must be a good reason. The urge to follow the pack can get us in trouble, though, particularly when it comes to saving and investing. Make sure you define your own goals for retirement and work with a financial advisor to create an individual plan that works for you.
5. Instant gratification
The newest car, computer or video game - it's easy for Americans to feel like they need to keep up with the Joneses. Spending too much on impulse purchases rather than funding savings can be devastating, particularly for your retirement. Learning to delay gratification and keep a budget is key.
We all want to imagine living out our dreams in retirement - rather than worrying about money. Whether you're in your 20s or your 50s, retirement savings should be top of mind. In addition to knowing and conquering the top challenges of retirement readiness, here are three simple things you can do today to ensure you're on the right path:
1. Workplace retirement opportunities
If your place of work offers a retirement program, sign up for it as soon as possible. From employer matches to potential tax benefits, retirement programs deliver numerous positives for employees. Remember, compound interest is an important factor in building retirement income, so it literally doesn't pay to put saving off.
Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky when it comes to retirement funding. A diversified investment strategy can help protect you from the unexpected.
3. Financial planner
Working with a professional can help you learn about various savings options for reaching your personal retirement goals. The expertise of a financial planner can make the stressful and confusing process easier.
For more information about retirement challenges and what you can do to become retirement ready visit www.bringyourchallenges.com.