BOSTON (CBS) – Many of our listeners will turn 65 today! And they will have company for 10,000 Boomers will celebrate their 65th birthday today and another 10,000 will celebrate tomorrow. That will happen every day through 2029. And by 2030, twenty percent of the nation’s population will be 65 and older.

They may be eligible for Medicare and to retire from their jobs at 65 but they still must wait until they turn 66 to collect their full Social Security benefit. And the tail end of the boomers who turn 53 this year must wait until age 67 to collect their full benefits.

Social Security is the main source of retirement income for 36% of retirees. The average Social Security benefit is about $1,300 a month. Hard to survive on an annual income of $16,000.

And 38% of Americans have no money saved for retirement and the average length of retirement is 18 years.

So if you are approaching 65 and have not saved very much what are you supposed to do? Well you probably cannot retire unless you want to live with one of your kids.

If you have a job keep it. And next year when you turn 66 and can collect your full Social Security benefit consider one of two scenarios. Keep working and accrue a larger Social Security benefit because for every year until age 70 your Social Security benefit will increase 8% a year if you delay it. Or begin to collect while still working and save your Social Security benefit. That will give you some savings set aside for emergencies.

If you don’t have a job consider finding one. Our current unemployment rate in Massachusetts is under 3% (2.8) so I know there are jobs available. Without some savings these will not be the golden years for you will be eating at the golden arches.

Work on your budget. List all of your expenses. That gives you an idea on how many dollars it takes to keep you solvent. What is your income going to be in retirement? Social Security and possibly a pension? What have you got in savings?

Experts say you should only use about 4% of savings annually if you want it to last through your retirement.

One more thing:  For example let’s say you have a $100,000 saved. Which is a lot and if you withdraw only the 4%, that’s $4,000 the first year and less each year thereafter unless it earns more than 4%. Will the $4,000 be enough to supplement your income and help maintain your life style? Or do you have to withdraw more or do you have to consider changing your life style and living on less?


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.


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