Retirement 101: Will I Ever Be Able to Retire?

Most of the people today are busy spending more time contemplating about the future hobbies, adventures, and travels that they would do during retirement. This is also the reason why they are saving and investing as early as today to support the lifestyle that they are envisioning when they already decided to stop working.

However, there is one question that remains in their minds, “Will I ever be able to retire?”. Even though they already have a vision of what is waiting for them in the future, there is still this hint of uncertainty. This is normal. Of course, we can never be so sure of the future, right? Read on and find the answer to your question about retirement.

While 2/3 of people are now investing and saving for their retirement, 15% of them are planning on winning the lottery and 1% of them expect that they would be money-gifted. There are really many factors that intervene when it comes to retirement. But there are ways for you to be sure if you will really be able to retire. Here are some:

  • Know Your Expenses – Knowing your expenses is very critical for your retirement. If you have not been tracking your expenses, now is the best time for you to start your expense analysis. If you understand where your money goes, you can assess how much you will be needing for you to live in comfort during retirement. Do this by:
  • Plan for changes in your retirement expenses
  • Consider downsizing
  • Consider changes in healthcare cost
  • Understand Your Income Sources – Understand what is your income source when you are already retired. Are you depending on annuities, pensions, Social Security, distributions, or your own retirement savings? If you have savings, know if you can convert them into income stream or investment account.
  • Generate extra income
  • Take some risk
  • Do not forget inflation
  • Save More Often – Your savings play a big role in your retirement. It is actually the top consideration during retirement because it is the amount that you can surely use when you stop working. You can use your savings to invest in anything that you would like to do when you reach the age of 60 and up. If you are saving now, save more often. It would really be great help on your retirement.

The answer to the question “Will I ever be able to retire?” will always depend on how you work on it before the time comes. Retirement is not something that people should ignore. It is hard to work and earn money. You would no want your effort to come to waste in the end.

As early as now, do something to remove the uncertainty in you. The above mentioned are tips on how you can guarantee your retirement soon. Doing these tips will significantly determine your future lifestyle and status when you reach the age of your retirement.

Should a Thrift Savings Plan be a Part of Your Portfolio

TSP or Thrift Savings Plan comes under the 401k plan of the U.S. federal government. In terms of participant account and investment balance, TSP is the largest among all 401k-like plans. In this article, we are going to find out whether TSP is actually suitable for your portfolio or not. However, in order to determine this, we will need to dig deeper and find out the pros and cons of this savings plan while also finding out some strategies to include TSP in your portfolio.

TSP or Thrift Savings Plan

Under the retirement plans of US federal employees, TSP forms an important one besides Social Security and The Federal Employees Retirement System (pension). Both the military as well as the civilian employees of the federal government are eligible for this contribution plan.  Both traditional as well as the Roth accounts are offered by TSP.

Benefits of Thrift Savings Plan

  • Expense ratios are low
  • The five L funds along with the other six core funds have an expense ratio of 0.029%, which is $2.90 on an investment of $10,000. Thus, TSP maintains the lowest expense ratios for the mutual funds.
  • No hidden costs or fees – There are no hidden costs or fees for investing in TSP
  • Wise selection of funds – Core funds of TSP include C fund, S fund, I fund, F fund and G fund which cover majority of the asset classes.
  • Lifecycle funds – The five core funds are maintained in different percentages that matches the Lifecycle of Thrift Savings Plan.
  • Covers your entire life – Even when you separate from the federal service, you can still keep the account active while including any retirement plans into TSP.
  • Civilian receive an agency match – The civilians coming under the purview of FERS retirement system are entitled to receiving an agency match.

 

Downsides of Thrift Savings Plan

  • Withdrawal Limits – You will be entitled to only a single partial withdrawal prior to giving you the opportunity to withdraw the entire fund. Thus, there are many people who move to the IRAs post retirement.
  • No conversions within the plan – You are not allowed to convert any part of your traditional balances into Roth Balance.
  • I fund is not that great – I fund is considered to be among the weakest of all the five core funds.

 

Conclusion

Thrift Savings Plan is great for the federal employees but is not considered great for others. Thus, if your financial planning includes TSP then you must weigh your options before putting in your money.

Graphic: Changing Face of America by Pew Research Center


The chart shows the present and future fluctuations in racial populations in the United States of America from 1960 to 2060. Much of the information presented in this chart is hypothetical, or projections, because some of the time periods listed, example the year 2020 or 2030 have not happened yet.

The chart shows that Caucasians are experiencing a decline in numbers at an average rate of twenty percent every forty years. Despite the decline, they are still the most populous race of the five listed.

Negroids are the second largest race, however their growth is almost level, with blacks making about ten percent of the population in 1960s and about 13 percent of the population in the year 2060.

On the other hand, the population of Hispanics is surging and is expected to double in the next fifteen years.

Asians and ‘Other’ make up a marginal part of the population, and although both sectors are experiencing growth, it is minuscule.

Change Consumption Habits of Americans


The pictograph shows changes in consumption habits of the American populace for tobacco and alcohol.

In 1965 about forty two percent of the adult population smoked. This number decreased gradually over the next forty years at a rate of approximately five percent per year. The lowest percentage of smokers could be found in the year 2005, where twenty one percent of the population smoked.

Alcohol, on the other hand, has barely shown any growth or decrease, with the exception of two years; 1975 and 1985. In 1975 and 1985 the rates of alcohol consumption were ten point one percent and ten percent, respectively. This was a nearly two percent increase from the average steady rate of eight point four percent experienced in 1965, 1995, 2005 and 2008.

Graphic: Growth of a Retirement Account From the Age of 25

Saving is always important. It is considered a good practice to consistently set aside part of each of your paychecks when you are young to have money later. It is equally important to continue saving even after you grow older. As This chart from Business Insider shows, there are major differences between individuals who not only start to save money early on, but continue to save money throughout their career.

Graphic: Growth of a Retirement Account From the Age of 25

A twenty-five year old who saves five thousand dollars annually between the ages of twenty-five and thirty five is expected to have a nest egg of one million dollars by the age of sixty five.

A person who starts saving from age thirty five will have considerably less at five hundred thousand or less, but will still have a good cushion for retirement.

Saving early can actually turn into earning later on. Simply this is because the longer investments have to mature, the higher the return they will have. On average a person who only saves and invests $5,000 annually between the ages of 25 and 35 will actually have more money than someone who starts saving at the same rate from age 35 to 65.