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For the average American, the retirement picture is rapidly changing. As life expectancies continue to increase, so does the average age at which a worker will retire and start living the proverbial dream. These changes, however, may be a sign of future difficulties and a strong motivator for employees to develop and begin following a savings plan as quickly as possible. Here are four ways in which retirement is changing that signal challenging times ahead:

The Retirement Age is Rising: For decades, the full retirement age—the age at which you could start collecting full Social Security benefits— was 65. But, as the Social Security Administration has looked for ways to cut costs and adjust for longer life expectancies, it is now age 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later. This means that employees must work longer in order to fully capitalize on their benefits, which are rarely enough to fully fund retirement on their own.

Workers are not Saving Enough Money: Many Americans are reaching retirement age alarmingly underfunded, but it’s not entirely their fault. According to an AARP study, 25% of Americans over 50 reported exhausting their savings during the Great Recession, and 48% said they had trouble making ends meet post-recession. Without adequate savings to supplement Social Security Benefits, many employees will find themselves in a position in which they can’t fully retire and maintain a good standard of living.

Employers are Offering Less Help: The slow death of the pension plan has been a large contributor to Americans' lack of retirement savings. Years ago, a company enrolled an employee in its pension plan without an obligation to make contributions; it was fully funded by the employer. The employee just kept on working, gradually becoming vested in the plan. Once retired, they had a lifetime payout to augment Social Security benefits. However, very few companies offer these plans today, and many employees tend to misuse 401(k) accounts and other retirement savings tools by withdrawing the funds early, rather than letting them accrue.

Healthcare Costs are Rising: In 2017, the cost of Medicare Part B rose for many seniors. Additionally, health insurance costs tend to be going up while benefits are decreasing. Healthcare will likely eat up at least 12% of the average employee’s retirement budget, and that figure is almost certain to rise as time marches on.

It’s easy to see that retirement for future generations will look much different. But, a good retirement isn’t out of reach. It all starts with finding a good job and beginning to save as much money as possible, as early as possible. Every dollar saved will go a long way toward supplementing Social Security benefits and providing a better quality of life.

If you’re on the hunt for a job that will help you advance your career and better prepare for your future, AtWork can help. Click HERE to find a location near you and start your journey to retirement by finding the job you’re looking for, today!

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