Four REAL Questions to Yourself About Your Retirement

Retirement is one of those things that far too often is only thought about when it’s too late. According to a recent survey from AARP and the Ad Council, two in five households headed by people age 55-64—over nine million households—have no retirement assets saved at all. and 48% of retirees reported that they retired sooner than they had expected, cutting into the time they had planned to keep saving. Scary statistics!

My husband and I are always extremely busy with kids and work, as I am sure is the case with most of us! But this time of year we really stop and take stock of the important things—like finances and retirement. It really is important that no matter how busy you are, you give YOURSELF the gift of time, so that you can solidify your future.

  1. At What Age Do You Plan To Retire?: Did you know the longer you wait to start collecting Social Security, up to age 70, the larger your monthly check could be? If your full retirement age is 67, but you wait until you’re 70 to start taking benefits, you can receive 124% of your full benefits!
  2. Can You Afford To Contribute More?: Even a 1% increase can make a drastic difference when you retire. The more you contribute now, the more you will have!
  3. Will You Be Helping Your Adult Children With Expenses?: Many families help their children pay for college, or maybe even a wedding. If this is something you plan to do, you need to start saving for it now or make a plan on how to pay for it in the future.
  4. Can You Supplement Your Income Once You Are Retired?: Many retirees work part time, even after they are retired. Some bake cakes, some help family with child care. There are many ways to supplement your income, you just need to plan ahead for it!

Here are a few tips to consider that will help you maximize your retirement savings:

  • While gathered with your family for the holidays, discuss your savings plans and long-term retirement goals, and what you can do today to achieve them. It’s important for everyone in the family to be on the same page about your financial goals and priorities.
  • Start planning now what age you plan to retire and when you plan to start taking your Social Security benefits. Earning a few more years of income could really help you grow your nest egg, and delaying when you start collecting Social Security increases your annual benefit.
  • If your employer offers matching funds for your retirement savings plan, make sure you’re contributing at least enough to get the full employer match.
  • Brainstorm ideas for earning money in retirement, such as turning a hobby into a source of income, or taking on seasonal part-time work

This time of year, many families focus on what to get the kids. But this year, take a couple minutes for yourself to visit for personalized, simple tips to make sure you are on track for an amazing retirement! Your digital retirement coach, Avo℠, will reveal the top three simple, practical things you can do right now to make sure your retirement plan is on track. It’s never too late to get started. Don’t be part of the two in five statistics.

Debbie Bookstaber

Debbie lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two sons. She’s a #momprenuer who loves technology, toys, travel and anything that helps her squeeze more time with her children into her packed schedule. After graduating from Yale University with a BA and MA, Debbie worked in the travel industry at companies such as Site.59 (a start-up later acquired by Travelocity), and Debbie is currently a partner at Element Associates. In 2012, Debbie helped organize SheCon, and she is a frequent speaker at social media and tech conferences such as BlogHer, SXSW, Type-A Parent, Affiliate Summit, SheConExpo, and ASTRA Marketplace. Along with Candace, Debbie is the co-founder of, which recognizes bloggers for using social media for social good, which is at the heart of what she does every day. Debbie serves on several charitable boards, focusing on education and at-risk students. Find Debbie at

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