Mike Burnick: “Retire richer. A LOT richer.”
Dear Wealth Watch Reader,
New data released by the U.S. Commerce Department shows the average American’s retirement savings leaves them woefully unprepared for their golden years.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to secure a steady stream of income beyond 401(k)s and Social Security.
Today I explain why there’s no better time than now to add some low-risk, high paying dividends to help grow your retirement fortune.
Read on below…
The Dividend Cavalry Ride to the Retirement Rescue!
Are you saving enough for retirement?
According to the latest numbers from the Commerce Department… probably not.
And that doesn’t include the damage to 401(k)s from the February sell-off.
The Commerce Department reported that the savings rate in the U.S. is falling like a rock.
In December, the savings rate fell to 2.4%, the lowest since September 2005, according to a recent Bloomberg report.
That is the third-lowest savings rate in history, which is especially troubling because the last time the savings rate was this low, we were mired in a recession triggered by the 2008–09 financial crisis, as reported by Bloomberg.
If Americans are saving so little during the good times, just imagine how much lower it will go when times get tough!
When it comes to retirement, failure to save today translates into poverty tomorrow. Especially since you cannot depend on Social Security.
According to a Legg Mason study, the average baby boomer has saved $263,000 in defined-contribution — 401(k) and 403(b) — plans, as reported by RealInvestmentAdvice.com.
That’s hardly enough to finance a comfortable retirement that could last 20 years or more.
What about Social Security?
Forget about it!
According to the June 2017 survey from the Social Security Administration, 61.5 million Americans are receiving a monthly benefit check. Roughly two-thirds (68.2%), or 41.9 million, of those are retirees.
I am sorry to say that “of these 41.9 million retirees, more than 60% count on their Social Security to be a PRIMARY source of retirement income,” according to RealInestmentAdvice.com.
Which is why more than half of Americans will retire broke.
Making matters worse, Americans are taking on a mountainous amount of nonmortgage debt.
Personal interest payments — nonmortgage interest paid by households — have jumped 15.4% in the last year and are now “only $600 million below the record-high of $319.9 billion set in September 2007, three months before the start of the last recession,” remarks Thomson Reuters managing economist Jeoff Hall in a recent tweet.
If you see a little of yourself in these discouraging numbers, you better start saving more and borrowing less.
Of course, that is easier said than done. But unless you want to work as a Walmart greeter into your 70s… you need to make some changes to your financial lifestyle.
Just Say “No” to Your Kids: My children are adults but that doesn’t stop them from sticking their hands in dear old dad’s wallet from time to time.
I cannot count the number of retirees I’ve met who live like peasants from loaning “I promise I’ll pay you back” money that they can’t afford to give to their children.
Be Prepared to Postpone Retirement: It’s not an appealing answer, but consider the impact on your Social Security. For every year you delay taking Social Security, your monthly benefit will increase by 8%.
Downsize and Economize: Do you still need a big house? Can you move to a lower-cost part of the country? How many times a week are you eating out?
SUVs not only cost a lot to buy, but the gas, insurance, licensing and maintenance costs are much higher than they are for small cars.
Save More: “Move more, eat less,” is the mantra of weight loss gurus, so any admonition to save more sounds as cruel. But saving an additional $10,000 a year could add as much as an extra half million dollars over a 20-year period.
And don’t forget — those over 50 could make an additional catch-up contribution of up to $6,000 in addition to the $18,500 cap for their 401(k)s in 2018.
Be a Better Investor: The least painful way to accumulate a bigger nest egg is to become a better investor.
Saver No. 1 saves $500 a month in his 401(k) and earns an average annual return of 6%. After 25 years, he will have around $350,000… not bad.
Saver No. 2 saves the same $500 a month but earns 8% on his money, so his retirement pot grows to $474,000.
As you can see, a few percentage points translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s time to ask yourself how you can improve your investment results.
Instead of trying to make more money when times are good, it is much easier to lose less when times are bad.
And that is exactly what a carefully selected basket of dividend-paying stocks will do for you.
Remember when the stock market lost 1,175 points last Monday? Take a look at what a couple of my favorite dividend stocks did that day:
And the list of dividend-paying stocks that lost a fraction — 60%, 70%, 80% — less than that of the overall stock is too long to print.
My point is simple.
Dividend-paying stocks have substantially less volatility than the overall stock market and are one of the best ways to protect your portfolio and substantially grow your wealth during down market days.
Be a better investor.
Buy dividend-paying stocks.
Retire richer. A LOT richer.
Here’s to growing your wealth,
Chief Income Expert, Mike Burnick’s Wealth Watch
Editor’s note: Tell us what you thought of today’s article. Or let us know if there are specific topics you want Mike to address in a future issue. Drop us a line. Send your emails to WealthWatchFeedback@AgoraFinancial.com.