This mistake could cost $344,000 in retirement income

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This mistake could cost you $344,000 in retirement income
While Social Security should replace 40% of pre-retirement income, most people need 70% to 80% of their former earnings to stay afloat financially once they stop working, according to this article in Motley Fool. The problem is that most Americans are saving too conservatively to make up the remainder. According to one industry study last year, 60% of savers in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are so focused on minimizing losses that they're not capitalizing on growth opportunities. In other words, many people are shying away from stocks at a time in their lives when that added growth could have a significant long-term impact. Clients are advised to invest aggressively in their retirement accounts to take advantage of the growth opportunities and boost their overall returns, according to this article. This means increasing their exposure to stocks, which are riskier but offer higher dividends compared with bonds. These earnings grow tax-deferred through the power of compounding.

Health savings account contributions can boost your retirement
Many clients are unaware that contributing to a health savings account can be a strategy to boost their retirement prospects, according to this article on CNBC. An HSA offers triple tax advantages, which are tax deductible contributions, tax-free growth on investments, and tax-exempt withdrawals for qualified expenses. "No account has better tax advantages," says an expert.

You’re killing it with your 401(k)—on autopilot
The average balance in 401(k) plans at Fidelity Investments rose more than 9% to $95,500 in the first quarter, thanks to the plans' auto-escalation feature, according to this article on Bloomberg. "Auto-escalation isn't all that widespread, yet is driving 50% of the savings increases," says an expert with Fidelity. "It emphasizes how important auto-enrollment and auto-escalation have been to the retirement system."

Senior discounts aren’t just for seniors anymore
Many seniors miss out on the opportunity to rack up considerable savings as they do not take advantage of as much as 10% discounts in restaurants, grocery stores and other various commercial establishments, according to this article on The New York Times. Developers have come up with apps to encourage seniors to make the most of these discounts. “Sometimes people say to themselves, ‘Big deal, it’s a 10% discount,’” says an app developer. “But if you’re walking down the aisle at the grocery store and your phone pings you and says, ‘When you get up to the cash register, ask for your discount,’ you’re going to do it.”

The emotional side of retirement planning
Much has changed about retirement, and planning is key to a happy and rewarding life in the golden years, according to this article on Kiplinger. Retirement planning should also include psychological and emotional preparations. This means that clients have to ask certain questions, such as whether they intend to continue working and whether they want to stay in their current home or relocate.

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