I'm a long time member of the board, not sure why I'm going incognito. It's not like I should be embarssed. And, certainly there are others out there that might have similar worries. The last few weeks I've gotten really nervous about the whole concept of saving for my retirement, and having enough to actually enjoy it. And fear if I don't have enough. What then. It just has REALLY hit me the last few weeks. It's not like I didn't realize before that I'm getting older. And then add in the concern of having money problems at any age since unexpected things can happen that can cause financial issues.
Here's some stats, I am single, in my 40's, no debt, have an emergency fund, and other money socked away. Although have been dipping into savings since the economy tanked.
I don't want to put my head in the sand but I don't want to be thoroughly stressed and freaked about this. It's kept me up on more than a few nights.
I was making my 2009 Roth IRA contribution online and the company had one of those retirement calculators that you plug in some figures on salary, amount saved for retirement, and out pops "their" take on how you stand and how much you need to contribute etc. I've checked out those calculators in the past. I've been on a bunch of different sites, and I do realize they vary quite a bit on their numbers, how they calculate it etc -- I'm just using them as a very ROUGH ballpark. Plus, I don't have a handle on what my expeneses will be (the main ones being housing and healthcare). The figure that they come out with might sound like a decent number, but one could be living 30 years on that money. Many of the calculators just give you a figure on what your income will grow to (using certain parameters) but I was more interested in seeing what theat might translate monthly/yearly. Might not be a bad idea to speak with a financial adviser to get a better picture on where I stand.
In the past, I've almost always contributed to my 401K (not offered all years depending on the company, had a layoff etc), a few years I've gotten a match. The last couple of years I started a Roth and contributed the max.
Of course, I'm kicking myself for the years that I didn't contribute the max and/or didn't participate. And, I think its the regret that's getting to me. Of course, I had to also plug in how I would stand if I had more saved. That accomplishes nothing but torturing me.
What's freaked me out is how the older you get, how much more you need to contribute to really amp up the amount vs if you were younger. It's not like I can sock away 2 million in the next 20+ years.
I live in an expensive area and I don't own my own place. I know I would feel much better if I was a homeowner so I could work on paying down a mortgage before or not too far into retirement, rather than tossing money out (like I have been all these years). Unfortunately, buying a place isn't an option in the next year or two.
The thought of paying these high rents in my 60's and beyond, makes me Plus, the high costs of living here. I guess I could move to a different location, but this is where I love living.
There's the usual reccos of contribtuing the max to the 401K and contributing to an IRA. Many "experts" say that plus Soc Security isn't often enough. Saving additional money in a brokerage acct or high yield (ha)saving/CD etc would be ideal too, but I would have to look at my budget to see what else I can do. I live pretty conservatively -- but I know there's always something that can be cut. I'll admit that I don't want to cut sooo far back that I'm a hermit eating beans and rice, but I don't want to kick myself later too. Not sure how to balance.
Plus, I know that money probs can come at any time. Layoffs, cutbacks, illness --- that could derail ones plans at any age. I've experienced that the last few years with the recession. So, certainly realize that I can have financial probs way before retirement.
Like everyone, I don't want to be struggling as I get older -- and since I'm single (hoping that will change), it just leaves lot of burden/stress on just one. Not only financially, but emotionally since it would seem more tolerable if there was a team of two.
Sorry I've been so long winded. I don't even know what I'm asking but any advice welcome and appreciated.