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5 Retirement Catch-Up Strategies Besides Saving More Money

Filed under: Retirement

So retirement is approaching quickly, and you’re far behind on your savings goal. While you may be feeling some stress about your retirement outlook, you certainly aren’t alone. According to Gallup’s 2017 study of financial concerns, more than half of all Americans are worried about their ability to pay for retirement.1

If you’re behind on your savings, the simple solution is to save more money. However, that may not be possible. After all, there’s only so much money you can put away for the future. You still have to cover current bills and expenses.

The good news is there are other ways to overcome a retirement shortfall besides saving more money. Although saving is a critical element, it’s not the only strategy you can use. Below are five strategies to shore up your retirement outlook that don’t require you to increase your savings:


Eliminate debt.

Debt is a natural part of life for many Americans. It can be a useful financial tool for purchasing things like a home, a business, a car or even an education. You may also have debt related to medical bills or even credit card spending.

In retirement, though, debt can be corrosive. The higher your payments to service your debt, the less remaining income you’ll have to pay other bills and support your lifestyle. You may be forced to take higher distributions from your retirement savings to make your debt payments. Those higher withdrawals could cause you to drain your assets early.

Look for creative ways to eliminate your debt. For instance, you could transfer high-interest debt to a vehicle with a lower interest rate so you can pay off the balance faster. You could also try to negotiate with credit card companies to lower your rate. Again, a lower rate could help you pay down the balance faster.


Work in retirement.

Work and retirement don’t usually go hand in hand. After all, retirement is when you stop working. However, there could be flexible work options available that allow you to generate income and still retain some schedule flexibility.

For instance, you could explore a phased retirement with your employer, in which you gradually shift into part-time status over the course of a few years. You could become a consultant or trainer in your industry. You could work part time in an area that interests you, such as golf, gardening or more. Be creative and look for opportunities to use your skills and talents.


Maximize your Social Security benefit.

You can become eligible to file for Social Security at age 62. However, there’s benefit to waiting as long as possible to start receiving payments. If you wait beyond your full retirement age (FRA), which is likely 66 or 67, Social Security will increase your benefit. You get an 8 percent credit for every year past your FRA that you wait to file. The credit stops at age 70.2

While it may be tempting to file as soon as possible, look for ways to delay. That way, when you finally do start benefits, you’ll get as much money as possible. The increased income could offset your savings shortfall.


Minimize your taxes.

Taxes don’t stop just because you stop working. You could face taxes on all forms of retirement income, including pensions, retirement account distributions and even your Social Security benefits.

You could reduce your income needs by minimizing your tax liability. For example, you could consider using a Roth IRA to generate tax-free income. Or you could structure your distributions from your various accounts in a way that minimizes your taxes each year. A financial professional can help you develop a strategy.


Move to a more affordable location.

Perhaps you have a retirement shortfall because your cost of living is high in your current location. You may be able to reduce your spending needs by relocating somewhere less expensive.

For example, if you live in a city, you might consider downsizing to a smaller home in an affordable suburb—or maybe even moving to a more affordable part of the country. Some retirees are even moving to other countries to take advantage of lower medical costs.

Ready to tackle your retirement shortfall? Let’s talk about it. Contact us at Ambrose Financial & Insurance Services. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.




Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.

16766 – 2017/6/20