by LeeAnn Stuever
Financial planning is not just for people nearing retirement. In fact, it’s a good idea to begin planning for a comfortable and secure retirement when you’re young.
That’s why Social Security has a new financial planning tool especially for the 25 to 35 crowd. It’s a special mailer with information about Social Security, savings and other items of interest to young workers. If you’re between the ages of 25 and 35 and you work and pay Social Security taxes, you’ll get this automatically with your next Social Security statement.
Social Security is the foundation for a secure retirement, but was never intended to be your only source of income when you retire. While Social Security replaces about 40 percent of the average worker’s pre-retirement earnings, most financial advisers say that you will need 70 percent or more of pre-retirement earnings to live comfortably. Even with a pension, you will still need to save. If you will not have a private pension, you will need to save more—and start saving sooner. Today’s young workers can expect to spend 20, 30 or even more years in retirement, so saving is critical.
Want to start planning your future? There are some easy ways to do so. Take a look at Your Social Security statement, which you’ll receive in the mail about two to three months before your birthday, as well as the helpful two-page insert tailored specifically to workers ages 25 to 35.
Pay close attention to the information provided, including tips on saving, getting your employer to help with matching contributions to retirement plans, and how much of a difference beginning to save early can make. There’s even a graph showing the significant difference saving over time can make, even if it’s just $25 or $50 a week.
The insert also includes helpful links to outside websites that can help you. For example, you can go to http://www.mymoney.gov for information on getting credit, paying for education, buying a home, creating a budget, starting a business as well as financial calculators and planning tools. Or, visit http://www.federalreserve.gov for a worksheet that will help you establish a budget to meet your financial goals. These and other financial links on the insert will help you become the master of your own financial future.
Don’t forget that Social Security coverage is not just for retirement, but also for disability and survivors benefits in the event that you are unable to work, or you leave behind a family that depends on your income when you die. Read more about retirement, disability and survivors benefits at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
(LeeAnn Stuever is a Social Security manager in Downtown Pittsburgh.)