Here Are Three Reasons Why Your Retirement Income May Be Lower Than Expected

Your retirement spending capacity may need to be improved.

When planning and preparing for retirement, estimating how much money you will need to maintain your desired lifestyle seems crucial. Thus, you might choose a strategy that enables you to reach your financial objectives.

Nevertheless, even if you plan wisely and save actively for retirement, you may still face a gap in retirement income. The following are some reasons why.

Your assets perform poorly.

Ensure you are not unduly invested in equities as retirement approaches and even during retirement. This does not imply that you should sell all of your investments. Instead, they should not account for 85 percent of your portfolio during a period in which you may frequently need to tap your savings to fund living expenses.

Your portfolio may underperform even if you adhere to this recommendation by reducing your retirement stock exposure. Although bonds are often seen as a more stable asset than stocks, the bond market may experience some volatility. As mentioned above, you should not sell all of your stocks in retirement, and it is wise to seek a financial adviser’s help to ensure your retirement assets are sufficiently diversified. 

Social Security cuts benefits payments.

The amount of money you receive from Social Security in retirement will depend on various things. These include the 35 highest-paying years of your work and the age at which you enroll to earn monthly benefits.

Even if you wait until your full retirement age or beyond before filing for Social Security, you may receive less money from the program due to benefit reductions. In the coming years, Social Security will have an income shortfall, but it can use its trust funds to make up the difference, at least until they are spent. However, these trust funds may be depleted in a little over a decade, at which point benefit reductions are likely.

Taxes catch you off guard.

Even if you did not plan on paying taxes, some of the sources of income you have access to during retirement might be taxable. Social Security is a classic illustration. A substantial percentage of your benefits may be subject to taxation if your income exceeds a specific threshold. In addition, unless you have a Roth IRA or 401(k), withdrawals from your retirement funds will also be subject to taxation.

Avoid being caught by surprise.

Clearly, there are various reasons why your retirement income may fall short of expectations. Your best bet? Be adaptable and have a contingency plan.

You may enjoy the nightlife of a large city in retirement. However, if your investment portfolio performs poorly or your Social Security benefits are reduced, you may have to settle for a smaller city. Similarly, you may need a part-time job to compensate for expenses such as unanticipated taxes.

Unfortunately, many seniors find themselves in a position where they get less money than anticipated. But if you’re willing to roll with the punches and make necessary adjustments, a decreased retirement income won’t have to devastate your golden years completely.