Fidelity Investments has released New Years retirement savings resolutions for people in three different age bracketsthose 25-35 who are just getting started; those 36-54 who are in the midst, or should be in the midst, of saving; and those 55 and older, who are heading into retirement.
Along with this, Fidelity released the findings of a survey of 2,000 showing how many have already achieved these goals.
As the New York Lottery slogan goes, You have to be in it to win it, and this, certainly, is the foremost message for young investors age 25-35: Enroll and contribute to your workplace savings plan. Underscoring how important this is, Fidelty found that only 47% of those polled are investing in their 401(k).
Second, Fidelity calls upon young people to develop a plan to reach their goals. Only 25% of those polled had done so.
Third, Fidelity calls upon people to open and contribute to an IRA (20% of responding workers have done this).
For those age 36 to 54, first and foremost, Fidelity advises monitoring and rebalancing portfolios at least once a year. (Only 25% have done so.) Following this, its wise to catch up and/or max out on retirement savings vehicles, particularly as income rises, but the sad fact of the matter is that only 19% are doing so. In 2009, workers age 50 and over will be able to contribute an additional $5,500 a year to their 401(k) and an additional $1,000 to their IRA.
Third for middle-aged people, Fidelity suggests simplifying and consolidating rollover assets into one IRA. Truth be told, only 11% of respondents have done this.
Lastly, for those people age 55 and over who are nearing retirement, Fidelitys first guideline is to plan to wait until at least age 62 to begin taking out Social Security payments and Medicare. This age group also needs to focus on creating a retirement income plan (only 26% have done this) and researching long-term care insurance needs (a mere 15% have gone to this trouble).
Creating an income plan that manages risks, such as longevity, market volatility and rising healthcare costs, is critical, as the median retirement savings of an American household is $22,500 and is on track to replace only 58% of pre-retirement income, Fidelity said.
The New Year offers investors an opportunity to take better control of their finances and stay on track throughout 2009, suggested Fidelity Executive Vice President Carolyn Clancy. These resolutions offer investors very specific steps to consider that can provide more financial discipline and better prepare them for retirement.