If you’re nearing retirement and haven’t saved much for it, you’re not alone.
Forty-eight percent of workers age 55 or older say they have less than $100,000 in savings and investments, according to a 2016 retirement confidence survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
They may not want to rely on Social Security to fund their retirement. Social Security will replace 39 percent of pre-retirement income for the average worker retiring at 65, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
If you’re nearing retirement in 10 years or so, there are still some moves you can make to help ensure you’ll have enough money. Here are four ideas:
1. Save more
This isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it’s the best way to lessen the gap. Federal law allows people 50 and older to “catch up” in retirement savings accounts by increasing the limits on tax deferred savings to a 401(k) plan of $24,000, and $6,500 to an IRA. If your children are out of the house and you’re no longer paying for college, put that extra money into savings.
2. Collect Social Security later
Social Security benefits can be claimed at age 62, but waiting until you’re 70 can increase the monthly benefits by 8 percent for every year you wait when adjusted for inflation.
Almost half of American workers file at age 62. Waiting can especially help married couples, giving a surviving spouse up to 100 percent of a deceased spouse’s benefit.
3. Work longer
Working beyond age 62 helps in many ways. It gives you more time to earn money and contribute to retirement accounts, reduces how long you’ll need to rely on savings before taking Social Security at age 70, and delays claiming Social Security.
Retirement at ages 65 or 67 is becoming more common, and online, part-time jobs can make working later in life easier.
4. Spending less in retirement
A rule of thumb when saving for retirement is that 80 percent of pre-retirement income is needed to maintain your standard of living when retired. But that goal may be overstated.
You may need as little as half of your pre-retirement income, based on data that people spend less over the course of retirement. You may take a few big trips when you first retire, but chances are you’ll spend less as you get further into retirement.
Retirees can save money by moving to a smaller home or a less expensive location, and can save if they no longer have a mortgage.