As you ask yourself if you are saving enough for retirement, you may find yourself wishing you could compare the numbers in your accounts to what your peers have saved. It would make it easier to see if you’re on pace or not.
There’s one simple problem with doing this: Many people do not have enough money to retire. Even if you’re on pace with your peers, you may still be very short.
In fact, one study determined that people aged 55-64 had just $107,000 saved up for retirement. That’s the median retirement savings for that age group.
If it sounds like enough, consider this: Putting that amount into an inflation-protected annuity would produce just $310 per month. In New York — and the rest of the United States, for that matter — that is nowhere near enough money to live on. If that’s how much you’ve saved up, you may want to take a long, hard look at your budget and your future.
Different life changes can also affect your ability to retire. Divorce, for example, can derail your plans. Perhaps you only have a small amount saved for retirement because you know that your spouse has a pension from work. You’ve been counting on that pension for your retirement as well. Do you lose that pension in the divorce, meaning you suddenly can’t retire? Or, do you have a right to a share of that money since you and your spouse operated like a team during your marriage?
The reality is that you may be able to use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to get part of the pension for yourself, making retirement possible again. It’s critical to know how this process works and what steps to take if you are awarded part of your spouse’s pension to see that you get what you deserve.