My friends and family all know that I work on retirement plans for a living. So occasionally they ask me questions about their retirement savings or the state of Social Security or even how much money I think they should contribute to their 401(k) plan. These questions have traditionally been few and far between. However, in light of recent developments I’m being asked these same questions much more frequently than in the past. And that’s a good thing.
On January 28, President Obama introduced his MyRA proposal during his State of the Union address. One day later, Senator Collins and Senator Nelson introduced the Retirement Savings Act of 2014 (RSA-2014). And one day after RSA-2014 was announced, Senator Harkin introduced the Universal, Secure, and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds Act. Along with these proposals, pundits have recently discussed ways to improve and enhance the current Social Security program. Within a span of a couple days retirement savings became a hot topic of discussion. All of the retirement savings proposals have features that can benefit Americans. And beyond that, there’s the side effect of people discussing retirement savings.
Anything that can stimulate Americans into looking at their own retirement savings and doing something to improve those savings is a step in the right direction. The government appears to be willing to make it easier for Americans to save for retirement. However, there’s only so much that they can do. It’s important that we take the next step, because ultimately it’s up to each and every one of us to do what’s necessary to make sure that our retirement savings are where they need to be. Take a look at your retirement savings. Many retirement plans have websites that allow you to run projections so that you can see estimated benefits based on different scenarios. Go to the Social Security website and learn more about your benefits. Use the tools that are out there and solve your retirement puzzle.
Let’s talk to others about this hot topic. Get the ball rolling on helping friends, family, and colleagues to begin thinking about planning for their retirements. Having retirement savings in the news won’t help any of us save a dime for retirement. But at least we’re talking about it. And that’s a good start.