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The No. 1 reason Americans save money (it’s not college, retirement or to buy a home)

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The No. 1 reason Americans save money (it’s not college, retirement or to buy a home)
Almost half of Americans (45%) are setting aside an amount to finance their travel plans, according to this article on CNBC, citing a new survey by SunTrust Banks. More than one third of the respondents (37%) save for emergency purposes, while 30% save to secure their retirement. About one-third of those surveyed claimed that their finances cause them stress, the survey found. "Those who report feeling less stress about money or finances have a higher financial confidence," says an expert with SunTrust.

3 metrics that define the average Social Security beneficiary
Retired workers are the primary beneficiaries of Social Security, representing 69% of the total number of the program's recipients, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. Of these beneficiaries, seniors in the 65-69 age bracket make up the biggest group, followed by retirees between 70 and 74. A 70-year-old senior receives $1,510.49 on average in monthly benefit, with male retirees collecting $1,692.48 and their female counterparts $1,318.54 per month.

6 factors to consider before using retirement savings for caregiving
Some people are compelled to tap their retirement savings to cover the caregiving expenses of a parent or loved one, according to this article from U.S. News & World Report. However, they are advised to weigh other options before tapping their own nest egg to pay for their loved one's caregiving costs. They should assess their loved one's finances, identify the actual needs and ask other family members to help cover the expenses. The loved one may also qualify for government assistance programs. "Veterans and widows of veterans can often get benefits to pay for care," says an expert.

Suggest these strategies if clients are retiring with debt
Seniors who are compelled to carry debt into retirement are advised to refinance their mortgage or downsize to boost their prospects, according to this article on MarketWatch. Using retirement funds to pay off a mortgage can be a wrong move, says a certified financial planner. “Often the majority of the assets are pretax so it would require a much larger withdrawal to net the after-tax amount needed.”

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