Retirement Has Become Much More Difficult for Most, Often Due to Health Concerns

Posted on: Jan 11, 2017

A recent Associated Press article details the plight of the middle and lower classes as they struggle to prepare for retirement and their accompanying healthcare costs. Most U.S. households will actually have a worse lifestyle from a financial perspective than they did when they were working. Currently, 35% of households in their prime earning years or later have no retirement savings at all, whether through a 401(k) plan or a traditional pension. This inability to save for retirement is causing an even greater divide between the richest 10% of households and the rest of the country’s household. The reality is that the top 10% of households have had much greater access to income gains over the last 10 years, as well as better access to retirement plans to start with.
What’s the solution? Experts say that seniors will continue to work longer than anticipated, tap into previously unnecessary assistance programs, and even rely on their children for financial assistance. While the top 10% of households had a median income of $162,180 last year, representing a six percent increase over the figures from ten years ago, the typical middle class household just a 0.5% increase during the same decade, to a median income of $56,516.00. When household members have more money, they typically save more, and they also reap a better return on their savings; higher-income households see a bigger after-tax benefit, since their retirement contributions would have been taxed at a higher rate.
Even worse, the traditional pension plan essentially no longer exists. While decades ago, up to 38% of workers were participating in a traditional pension plan, with the expectation of receiving a monthly check following retirement, most employers no longer offer a pension. Instead, employers increasingly have shifted the burden to save for retirement to the workers themselves, relying on them to put money into 401(k) plans and manage their investments on their own.
Planning for retirement, paying for Long-Term Care, and affording medical care in general, are not issues that many people want to think about. However, failing to adequately plan for medical emergencies and needs can be disastrous to your ability to get the care that you need and preserve the assets that you have obtained over time. Rather than waiting until an emergency occurs and being forced to make a rushed decision when you have no time to think things through, we encourage you to take the time now to consider these crucial issues. At Elder Law Group PLLC, we know how to create a thorough plan to address your healthcare needs, both now and in the future. We will examine your circumstances and help you make the decisions that are right for you and your family, all without having to compromise on the quality of care or the loss of assets. Contact us today at (509) 468-0551 and schedule an appointment with one of our Tri-Cities Long-Term Care planning attorneys; discover what we can do to help you with these essential decisions about your future.