The best ways to save for retirement

PITTSBURGH — Financial experts say America is headed toward a retirement crisis.

A U.S. Senate Committee found nearly half of Americans aged 55 and over have no retirement savings.

And a quarter of those 65 and older are living in poverty on less than $15,000 a year.

“I always struggle with what will actually be a nest egg that doesn’t give you insecurity”, says Aaron Watson, who lives in Ross Township with his wife and two kids, “there’s no way to know, let alone will I make it to 65, what will my financial situation, what obstacles will I have to overcome.”

“With health care advancements, people are living much longer,” says Matt Blocki of Equilibrium Wealth Advisors, who says that means retirees need to have more saved to get them through those extra years.

Blocki says part of what’s led so many to be in a retirement crisis is a changing dynamic.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pensions in the U.S. are nearly extinct with just 15% of private-sector workers getting them.

Without intervention, the Social Security Administration says funding will be depleted by the mid-2030′s, meaning only a portion of expected benefits will be paid out.

That leaves 401k’s.

Sixty-eight percent of private industry workers have access to them, but only 50% use them.

“It’s a reality of inflation, of high expenses, living paycheck to paycheck, and really just not having a place to start”, says Blocki.

For those without access to a 401k, Blocki says the best option is a Roth IRA.

It takes only minutes for you to set one up online on financial investment websites like Vanguard and Fidelity, allowing you to invest your savings for the long term.

Blocki says, based on historical earnings, if you started depositing $5,000 a year starting at age 45, you’d have $225,000 by retirement.

If you started at age 25, it could be over a million dollars saved.

“The reason for that is in the Roth IRA, the contributions you put in are available at any time”, says Blocki, “So if you have an emergency, you can take your contributions out without tax without penalty. "

To start building that savings, Blocki suggests setting up a reverse budget.

That means you have your check deposited to one account which includes all of your regular monthly bills, like rent, mortgage, car payment, utility bills, and some savings.

The second account is for what’s left over.

The point is to limit your discretionary spending.

“Once it goes to zero, it’s zero”, says Blocki, “It just keeps you accountable.”

“It puts a lot of stuff on autopilot”, says Watson, “There’s a portion of your income and expense that is not have to be consideration.”

Experts say the rule of thumb is that you’ll need about 80% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your lifestyle in retirement.

You can check if you’re saving enough with this retirement calculator.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW

Comments on this article