Many people find it hard to be retired. The concept is relatively simple: Stop working and hope Social Security and savings cover all of your bills.
But in real life, it doesn’t always work out that way. Mark Miller, who writes for The New York Times
Miller’s book “Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track” (Agate, 2023), gives a big nod to the reality that millions of Americans were thrown for a loop by the pandemic, inflation and job dislocation. That bollixed their plans for a normal retirement.
‘A large share of Americans over age 50 are facing an almost-certain sharp decline in their living standards for their retirement,” Miller notes. “Today’s adverse macroeconomic conditions make careful decision-making all the more critical: For millions, the COVID-19 pandemic brought retirement saving to an abrupt halt only to have soaring inflation further impede their progress.”
What can you do to get back on track? Miller has a basket full of useful strategies.
- Make a plan, think through the timing of retirement. That means “careful budgeting and generating income from work even after retirement.
- Optimize Social Security to get the highest-possible payment.
- Navigate Medicare, which has gotten even more complicated in recent years.
- Build savings, and tap home equity.
- Explore ongoing strategies, such as planning for long-term care, and leveraging special assistance aimed at low-income workers.
Whether you have low savings — or none at all — Miller’s strategies can help you make the most of your remaining working years and reboot the dream retirement you deserve.