CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than half of American retirees are concerned about outliving their retirement money and drawing down on their savings, according to a recent PNC wealth management study.
But there are some things you can do today that can help get you on the right track when it comes time to enjoy your golden years.
Peter Stamler, 68, is more fortunate than most people his age looking to retire. Stamler gets a pension from his old teaching job as a college professor, as well as social security.
Early on in his career he feared for the worst when it came to looking to his future and not having enough to retire.
"I assumed I was going to work until I died because I had no savings, no pension and no way of investing anything," Stamler said.
Now with two adult daughters of his own, Stamler realizes long gone are the days of the traditional retirement age. Here in Charleston, there are more than 45,000 people that are at retirement age 65 and older, but 16.7 percent of them are still working.
Nate Harrison with PNC bank says Charleston is above the state average of 14 percent.
"People are spending a lot more money than they probably anticipated, so what they have saved may be great but it's not enough to last as long as what we have seen," Harrison said.
Harrison says it's not too late to prepare for retirement and has four key steps to do so.
The first step he says is to not delay your planning so start today drafting a game plan. Step two he is it's critical to get with a trusted advisor who will sit down once or twice a year, who will know your specific needs.
Step three is take advantage of your 401k and retirement accounts like an IRA, and don't be tempted to cash them out when changing jobs. Always roll them over to your new job to keep those funds set aside for retirement.
"Maximize that the best you can without taking away from your budget throughout the month and make sure you're maximizing what your company is willing to match," Harrison said.
The last step is to maximize your savings and investment options, and get customized guidance on making the most of your money.
As for Stamler, it means keeping life simple and not getting a luxury car or big home while still enjoying retired life. Stamler now spends many days doing volunteer work or traveling.
"I can do that as a payback to a population that doesn't have the good luck I have," Stamler said.
Harrison says don't panic, but be proactive so you can have a piece of mind that at least you planned and realize what it's going to take to retire with enough savings.