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Columbia Inspired

How to Make Retirement a Reality at any Age

Jul 11, 2023 06:30PM ● By Bethany Good

Imagine your ideal retirement scenario. Do you see yourself traveling to exotic locals and enjoying time with your friends and loved ones? But the question becomes, do you have enough saved for this dream retirement?

Lack of income, health concerns, caregiving, and other life events can affect your ability to save for retirement. We spoke with Shaun Eddy, CFP®, MSFA, AIF® of Oxford Planning Group, to learn how people of all ages reach their financial goals.


Retirement Savings for Ages 25-35

Saving for retirement is a challenge for people in this age group. “We start by teaching our clients how to budget. We look at their expenses and create opportunities for savings,” Eddy says. Budgeting and saving come with a caveat. “You want to save as much as possible, but not so much that life is not enjoyable anymore.”

Workers without a 401k can invest in individual retirement accounts (IRAs), like the Roth IRA. What is an IRA? It’s an account set up at a financial institution that allows an individual to save for retirement with tax-free growth or on a tax-deferred basis. If your company does not offer a 401k, inquire if the payroll company will allow direct deposit to a personal savings plan.


Financial Planning for Ages 35-55

People in this age group may face shifting life circumstances. They are saving for their child’s education or caring for older relatives. “Those dollars are competing with each other. We help people prioritize using their savings in the best way possible.” Caring for relatives can become a real financial burden. “We see many families where the parents have to move in with the children because they can't afford a nursing home. They are out of money. So there needs to be a plan.”

Financial tips:

●        Consider your own retirement goals

●        Save for your child’s education with a 529 plan

●        Plan for long-term care in advance


Goals and Advice for 55+

It’s time to take stock and ask yourself if you’re on track to reach your retirement goals. Health issues may impede your plans for the future. “Our goal is to try to minimize the risk of someone running out of money, and we want to mitigate any fears for the future,” Eddy says.

Individuals with less retirement savings may have to stay employed for longer. “You’ll have some additional income to help enhance your retirement opportunities.” Folks in this age range may also need to consider downsizing their homes to help reduce expenses. But what about people who don't have any retirement savings? “I always tell people, ‘It's never too late to start saving for retirement.’”

An Umbrella in the Storm

At Oxford Planning Group, you can count on personalized financial advice. “We look at the big picture of their lives.” Planning for retirement helps families maintain a happier future. “It's like having an umbrella ready for a rainstorm. If I have an umbrella, it tends not to rain much. But every time I forget that umbrella, I get soaked,” Eddy jokes. No matter your age, you can start preparing for retirement and beyond.


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