Preparing for retirement

As people think about retirement, one question usually comes up: “Will I have enough money?” And when you consider how many Americans say they’ll never be able to afford retirement, that question takes on even more importance.

Couple canoeing

Is it too late - or too early - to start planning for retirement?

Most retirees’ expenses are considerably greater than their Social Security benefits. In fact, Social Security benefits provided an average of only 36 percent of the total income for those ages 65 and over, according to a recent study by the Social Security Administration. This means retirees often need to plan for other sources for retirement income.

Saving for retirement

Time and the power of compounding interest can be your two best friends when saving for retirement. A 25-year-old who saves only $1,000 a year could have $259,000 when she turns age 65 (assuming an 8 percent return). If the same person waits until age 45, she would possibly have to save more than $5,600 a year to reach the same goal.

It’s never too late to start planning and saving for retirement, though. If you save $400 a month in a retirement account starting at age 55, you could have more than $73,000 at age 65 (assuming an 8 percent return).

Income and expenses

Many people discover they spend their money on different things after they retire, but the amount needed doesn’t change a great deal – especially in the early years of retirement. You may not be spending as much money for clothes and commuting, but you may spend more for travel and other leisure activities or higher medical expenses. Many financial professionals assume you will need 70 percent to 80 percent of your pre-retirement income as a starting point.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy has increased dramatically with advances in medical care, and there is every reason to believe this trend will continue. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if you reach age 65, you are likely to live another 16 years if you are a male and another 19 years if you are female. And 50 percent of us will live even longer. Many financial professionals use age 90 as your life expectancy.

How much income will I need when I retire?

You’ll need to know what your monthly expenses will be when you retire. Then you can factor in your savings with other income sources, including Social Security benefits and retirement plans, such as a 401(k) or 403(b).

  • To know how much income you’ll need in retirement, use our worksheet to estimate what your living expenses will look like.
  • Use our retirement income calculator to see where you stand today.
  • Learn how you can take advantage of savers' tax credits for young adults and people earning lower incomes.

How Everence can help

Consider rolling over your 401(k) accounts and adjusting your savings/investment accounts to fit your retirement needs. An Everence financial professional can help you do that. And if you are looking for a steady stream of income, an annuity can provide that during retirement. Annuities can give regular payments and earn interest, no matter what the stock market may be doing.

Will Medicare be enough when I retire?

Medicare helps older adults pay for some of their medical bills, but it doesn’t cover everything. It also doesn't pay for most long-term care services - and neither do health insurance plans. Long-term care insurance can protect you from the significant costs associated with nursing home or home health-care convalescence.

How Everence can help

Learn more about additional insurance options to pay for other medical bills. Learn more about the Everence wellness benefit for older adults.

Will I still need life insurance when I retire?

We may not think of life insurance as part of a retirement plan, but it can help provide the finances your family needs for such things as funeral expenses, everyday bills and income for your spouse. Life insurance can also help ensure businesses continue to run if an owner dies.

How Everence can help

An Everence financial professional can help you choose the right life insurance plan, including term and universal life options, as well as help you with estate planning.

Ask Everence

Do you have specific retirement questions or need more information?

Find an Everence professional

Or learn more about how a custom financial plan can help you gain confidence and clarity about your finances.

For more information

Call (800) 348-7468 or visit any of our offices to talk to an Everence representative.

Retirement income calculator

Use this calculator to determine how much monthly income your retirement savings may provide you in your retirement. Your annual savings, expected rate of return and your current age all have an impact on your retirement's monthly income. View the full report to see a year-by-year breakdown of your retirement savings.

Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide investment advice. We cannot and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.

Related news and stories


Hypothetical results are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to represent the past or future performance or any specific investment. Philosophy of compounding does not guarantee profit or prevent loss. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate and when redeemed, the investment may be worth more or less than their original cost. Results assume no withdrawals and reinvestment of all interest and dividends.

Securities offered through Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Investments and other products are not NCUA or otherwise federally insured, may involve loss of principal and have no credit union guarantee.

Products and services offered through Everence Trust Company and other Everence entities are independent of and are not guaranteed or endorsed by Concourse Financial Group Securities, or its affiliates.