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Retirement In-Sight: December 2017

December 18, 2017

Are You Really Saving Enough for Retirement?
On your way to retiring, you may question whether you have saved enough. Three factors promote this anxiety, and you can take steps to counter them.

Many people approach retirement with only a vague notion of how much money their “second acts” will require. You may need to amass as much as $1 million for a 30-year retirement; in some metro areas, you might need even more. Replacing the ambiguity with a goal, a target number determined in a consultation with a retirement planner, at least gives you an idea of how much to save. If your employer partly matches your retirement plan contributions, do all you can to bring that free money into your account. If you earn the median annual U.S. salary (about $51,270), an average employer match of 2.7% of your salary would mean an extra $1,380 or so per year into your plan. Even over five or ten years, that additional contribution could grow and compound profoundly. You may be concerned that you are contributing too little to your retirement fund each year. Vanguard says that the median deferral rate for the standard workplace retirement plan is only about 5%. A 10-15% annual contribution is widely recommended; strive to fund your retirement account at that level to respond to your concern. (1)
Chocolate Food Addiction
Have you ever eaten chocolate, then eaten more – and more? Certain foods are tremendously addictive, and it pays to watch our consumption of them after 50.
Dietitians call them hyperpalatables: processed or refined foods or drinks with an intriguing, often intentional, mix of sugary, sweet, or fatty elements. A recent University of Michigan study ranked them in order of addictive magnitude, and did chocolate come out on top? No, pizza did – but chocolate tied for second. A single chocolate bar contains more than 200 calories and about a dozen grams of fat; thirty potato chips contain 320 calories and 20 grams of fat. How can you prevent overconsumption of these foods and other hyperpalatables like ice cream and soda? Try asking yourself two questions. One, will you feel shame, guilt, and blame if you eat what you are about to eat? Two, if you eat this, will you feel loss of control? If you find yourself answering both questions with a “yes,” then refrain from eating that food. Instead of giving in, give yourself the power to say “no.” (2)

Wells Fargo’s Investor and Retirement Optimism Index had an excellent Q4 reading of +140, and retired investors (+151) were more optimistic about the near future than working investors (+135). (3)

Few of us can enter one of the nation’s busiest Starbucks stores
“Store Number 1” is located inside the Central Intelligence Agency’s Langley, VA headquarters. At this store, loyalty cards are not allowed, no names are written on drink cups, and baristas are extensively vetted before being hired and receive security briefings. (4)

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

1 - [12/11/17] 
2 - [11/22/17] 
3 - [12/12/17]
4 - [9/27/14]

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