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Many Americans fear retirement more than death

The best ways to ease your financial worries and get retirement ready
Saving for retirement
Getting ready for retirement
Posted at 3:46 PM, Nov 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-27 17:46:43-05

A large number of Americans now fear retirement more than death. That's according to a study from Allianz Life Insurance. The main issue is affordability, with many people worrying that their money will run out.

Cassandra Rupp is a senior financial advisor for Vanguard. She works every day to get her clients ready for retirement. “It's never too late to catch up and prioritize your savings,” says Rupp.

If you’re over the age of 50, you can take advantage of catch-up contributions. Still, no matter how old you are, Rupp says everyone should check the details of their job-sponsored retirement plans. “Focus on how to maximize contributions to your 401k plan and utilize any kind of matching contributions that your employer may provide.”

Then, to avoid spending temptation, cash in on the power of inertia. You can do that by redirecting your raise, setting up annual 1% contribution increases, and enabling automated savings. “It's natural to want to spend more if it's hitting your account,” Rupp says. “It's easier if you can move that out of sight, out of mind.”

If you’re already maximizing your 401k contributions and the number in your account still isn’t where you want it to be, don’t forget about ways you can leverage your home equity down the road. “The number one option, I'd say, is selling your home relocating to a market,” says Rupp. “That's maybe not as booming as where you were located.”

You can also downsize. At the end of the day, no matter how you choose to fund your retirement, Rupp encourages you to ask for help when you feel overwhelmed. “Everybody's had different life circumstances that have put them where they are. I don't think there's any judgment there.”