More Americans Plan to Postpone Retirement

by Francine Huff
August 10th, 2010

More Americans are rethinking their plans to retire. Almost half of people recently polled by a Merrill Lynch survey said they plan to postpone retirement longer than they had planned, according to Reuters. Merrill Lynch polled 1,000 Americans with liquid assets of at least $250,000.

The poll also found that half of those polled expect to rely on workplace retirement plans to fund retirement. However, 60% of those people said they are not contributing the maximum amount to plans such as 401(k)s.

Boosting Retirement Savings

If you’re scrambling to catch up on your retirement savings you, too, may need to rethink your retirement planning. Among your options are working longer, which gives you more time to build up your savings. During the time you continue working it’s important to contribute the maximum that you can to your retirement plan. If you’re over 50 you can also make catch up contributions to retirement plans. The catch up contribution is $1,000 a year for an IRA and $5,500 to a 401(k) in 2010.

Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages

Borrowing with a reverse mortgage is another option that people who are 62 and up may consider to help fund retirement. A reverse loan allows you to convert some of your home equity into cash. The money can be used for any purpose and does not have to be repaid until you leave your home.

Reverse mortgages have pros and cons, and it’s important to speak with a knowlegable housing counselor who can help you decide if borrowing money will effectively help fund your retirement. The housing counselor should do a thorough analysis of your financial situation and discuss other programs and services that may be helpful.

In additon to discussing your situation with a housing counselor, it may make sense to find an estate planner who can help you put together a comprehensive retirement plan.

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