Financial Advisory for Women

It's About Time.



Bell Tower Advisors Philosophy

  • We are independent
  • We are fee-only
  • We act as fiduciaries on behalf of our clients
  • We are committed to remain a boutique firm
  • We serve women (and like-minded men!)

$111,000? You're kidding, right?

The Social Security Administration just announced it's "cost of living adjustment" for Social Security recipients, which will be an increase of 1.7% starting in January, 2015.  Which raises the question, will this make much of a difference, if any, to folks who get Social Security?  The answer is no. It won't. 

The current maximum monthly benefit for a single worker at full retirement age (currently 65 but due to increase) is $2,642 per month, or about $32,000 per year.  I don't know too many people who can get by on spending only $32,000 per year.  But the fact is, most people I know won't even get this $2,642 per month, they'll likely get less, which means Social Security just isn't enough, not even close, to rely on to cover your expenses during retirement. 

I want to believe that most people know this, but you wouldn't know it by looking at their retirement accounts! A recent Federal Reserve survey found that people in the age group of 55-64 (i.e. those who are VERY near retirement), have a combined median IRA/401k balance of just $111,000.  $111,000!  Which needs to last them for their entire retirement, so for many this will be a 30-40 year period.  I don't think these folks understand what Social Security isn't going to do for them.  Which means they will be in for a rude awakening if they haven't already figured this out.

Now I understand why boomers are planning on working for many, many more years.  Many of them will have no other choice.   

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