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Planning for Retirement in a Post-Pandemic Economic World

Advice and Resources for Navigating Retirement Saving in an Uncertain Future

By Pam JannesPublished 3 years ago 3 min read

Retirement saving is always scary. Questions of setting a retirement date, planning for unexpected changes in health and circumstance, and caring for extended family members are constantly on the minds of so many American workers. Of course, after a year of so much economic uncertainty, retirement planning can seem even scarier. But, any wise financial planner knows that scary circumstances require extra levels of financial discretion.

It can be hard to understand what improvements you can make to your retirement savings plan. Still, for those looking to move past COVID-19 making the right decisions, here are some important considerations.

Get the Bigger Picture

To evaluate your financial goals and saving habits, it’s essential to understand greater trends in the market that you are working in. Fortunately, according to a new report from Forbes, general retirement saving trends are more optimistic than you may think. Forbes found that, generally, employers cut retirement benefits less in the most recent economic downturn than in past events like the Great Recession. Further, the report stated that CARES Act funding allowed many Americans that were dipping into retirement savings to take less from their personal funds.

What does this mean for you? If you are able to see general trends in government funds and employer policies that support your retirement planning, share them with your employer and financial planner to make sure you are getting the widely accepted support you deserve.

Save, Save and Save Some More

A new study from Coventry Direct, a life insurance settlement company, recently found that around 1 in 5 Americans are not saving for retirement. In a time where promises of social security are hazier every day, it’s important to be doing the individual work to build up a retirement pool. The top method that most of the respondents in Coventry Direct’s cited as their retirement saving method was a 401(k), though around 13% of respondents stated that they save using a combination of a 401(k) and an IRA or Roth IRA. Certainly, you can also save by investing money in stocks or property, but exploring multiple options and putting in the work to start saving high amounts of money early should be a priority for anyone.

Furthermore, the study from Coventry Direct also found that the most common barrier to Americans’ retirement saving is credit card debt. However, if you are able, finding ways to pay off debt while putting money aside for retirement is a great way to continue to build credit while also planning for the future.

Seek Guidance in Tough Times.

While all of the advice above about staying informed and continuing to save may seem like hallmark pieces of advice, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 and our current economic situation are extremely unusual. So many individuals are having to worry about forced, early retirement or healthcare expenses that drained every drop of savings they had. According to US News and World Report, high stress levels from all of this uncertainty have major impacts on the financial decisions we make, especially in terms of saving and retirement.

Therefore, if you are able to afford it, consider seeking financial guidance from a professional who can look at current and future financial concerns from an objective point of view. A third-party financial planner may be able to tell you that leaving money in a higher risk investment will be alright or that retiring early to help family members might hurt you in the long run. There’s no shame in getting support to take care of yourself and your family.

Whatever your own retirement saving situation is, hopefully, these tips will help you reach your retirement goals. Good luck and go plan!

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