Key topics when facing retirement:
- The No. 1 money worry in America today
- There’s more to wealth than what you earn
- Which side of the “thin green line” are you on?
- Boost your most important retirement asset: Social Security
- A unique deal we made on your behalf
Six in ten Americans will run out of money in their retirement.
According to a recent survey by Employee Benefit Research Institute, between 42% and 44% of Americans will not have enough to cover their essential living costs in retirement.
And that’s just the basics…
Even if you’ve got enough to cover groceries, utility bills and essential medical costs… more than half of American families will not have the money to maintain the living standard they had before retirement.
The No. 1 money worry in America today
You probably are smarter and more sensible with their money than the “average American.”
But it’s likely even you haven’t escaped a few sleepless nights…
According to polling firm Gallup, 7 in 10 Americans over 30 are afraid they’re going to outlive their savings – their No. 1 money worry by a huge margin.
And maybe they’re right to worry…
Figures from the Fed reveal that the typical working American family headed by somebody between 55 and 64 years old has only about $104,000 in savings.
The median household income in the US is $53,000 a year. That means the typical American family wouldn’t even have enough to last two years in retirement.
There’s more to wealth than what you earn
To understand more about why so many of us are headed for a crisis in our retirement years, I talked to New York Times Wealth Matters columnist Paul Sullivan.
Before joining the NYT, Paul was the first wealth correspondent for the Financial Times. His beat was how the wealthy think and act differently from everybody else. And his new book about the money secrets of the super-wealthy, The Thin Green Line, is a real eye-opener.
In researching his book, Paul met with members of Tiger 21– a group that costs $30,000 a year in membership fees to join. And you can join only if you’re worth at least $10 million. Many members are billionaires.
A big benefit of Tiger 21 membership is being able to talk to other people with similar levels of wealth… and to use your fellow members as sounding boards for your own wealth choices.
Paul met with four members of Tiger 21 in New York. And he asked them to examine the wealth choices he and his wife had made… the same way they examined the decisions of their fellow members.
What he discovered was that none of the multimillionaires cared about what stocks they had in their portfolios or whether the markets were going to crash.
As he writes in the book:
They were tearing us apart for simpler things: our expenses, our insurance, our view of the future being like the present but with additional children.
They were attacking us for errors that we had made, but that I was sure other people had made as well.
Had we saved all we could? Had we indulged in luxuries that we could pay for but couldn’t really afford? Had we planned how we were going to pay for our life if something went wrong?
Which side of the “thin green line” are you on?
Paul was surprised, he told me, that they focused on basic life choices…
They do talk about their investments. They’re like, “Okay, should I put this much in private equities?” “Should I put this much in hedge funds?” “What stocks should I own?” “Give me some good stock tips.”
There is some of that. But the majority of what they’re doing is testing out all of those other life decisions that have or can have a far greater impact on your wealth.
Boost your most important retirement asset: Social Security
The folks in Tiger 21 are right: There’s good reason not to pin your retirement hopes on stocks, bonds or even real estate.
I recently talked with another expert, Dr. Laurence Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University and former top adviser to President Reagan.
Dr. Kotlikoff just published a book all about maximizing your Social Security income. As he explained, Social Security is a “critical lifeline”…
We realize, after the Crash of 2008, that no assets – not our homes, not our bonds, and certainly not our stocks – are safe from life-threatening declines.
We realize that even our private pensions, if we have them, may hinge on our former employer staying in business and inflation not eroding the pension’s purchasing power.
We also know that we could, with plausible breakthrough medical discoveries, live to 100 or longer.
Remember, during the recent crash, home prices dropped, bonds dropped, stocks dropped. But Social Security payments continued month after month.
And that is why he says, “Social Security is, far and away, Americans’ most important retirement asset.”
In his book, Dr. Kotlikoff shares all the details on how to get the biggest check possible… every month… for the rest of your life.
There are some basic guidelines just about everyone should follow. And if you think you know what they are, think again… Married couples, for example, often get one critical decision – when to file for spousal benefits – completely wrong.
Dr. Kotlikoff also details dozens of loopholes that you might be able to take advantage of. There’s a way to “game the system” with your current spouse to get as much as $60,000 in extra payments… You might be able to use “start, stop, start” to max out your benefits while building an emergency cushion… One trick could hand you a lump-sum payment of $7,764.
A unique deal we made on your behalf
This information is so important – and potentially so useful – that we made a special arrangement with the book’s publisher to secure a limited supply of this important book.
It could pay for itself more than 100 times over.