During April and early May, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) will be sharing a variety of financial information and resources to celebrate Money Smart Week. One very important part of being money smart, especially for our Elders, is making sure financial needs for retirement are addressed. Fortunately, this week is the perfect time to evaluate your retirement plan, as it is National Retirement Planning Week.
National Retirement Planning Week is a national effort to help consumers focus on their financial needs in retirement. The goal is to promote the importance of comprehensive retirement planning. For many, retirement planning can be challenging. Many people have not planned adequately, are not confident in their finances, or they just don’t have enough saved for retirement. These concepts are especially true for Elders and American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs).
Baby Boomers and Retirement Planning
One of the next groups reaching the retirement age are baby boomers, those around the ages of 53 to 69. Unfortunately, the Insured Retirement Institute has found that baby boomers are generally not confident about many aspects of their own retirement. Only 24% of baby boomers believe that they will have enough savings to last throughout retirement, only 22% believe they are preparing their finances adequately for their retirement, only 27% believe that they will have enough money for healthcare expenses, and only 16% think they will be able to pay for long-term care.
American Indians and Alaska Natives and Retirement Planning
In a study released in 2015 from the Social Security Administration, it was found that AI/ANs had significantly less combined retirement income than did the other groups analyzed. Retirement income among AI/ANs also lagged behind others. AI/ANs had an average of $4,600 less combined retirement income than did whites and $1,500 less than did blacks. The difference is especially stark when comparing single-race AI/AN respondents, who had an average of $6,200 and $3,100 less combined retirement income than did whites and blacks, respectively.
What You Can Do
The statistics on baby boomers and AI/ANs and retirement planning are significant concerns, but National Retirement Planning Week is the perfect time to start addressing these and other retirement planning issues. It is never too late to start planning and addressing finances for retirement! During this week, we ask everyone to share information on resources on retirement planning and individually to start focusing on planning for a successful retirement. The Retire On Your Own Terms website is a great place to start. A few pages we recommend include:
- Your Plan – Start here to determine what you can start doing based on where you are in your life
- Budgeting Basics – Resources to help you consider how to budget for retirement
- Retirement Tools – Tools to help you with your retirement planning
Another great website for financial information is the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) website at www.wiserwomen.org. A few great retirement resources from WISER include:
- 10 Ways Women (and Men) Can SAVE Themselves From Retirement Shortfalls
- Women’s History Month: A Time to Reflect on Women’s Retirement Challenges
- Don’t Run with Your Retirement Money
For more information on National Retirement Planning Week, visit www.retireonyourterms.org/NRPW.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.