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What the Ramsey team wants you to do instead

While several reports point to future retirees running through their limited savings and ending up largely reliant on Social Security, these benefits aren’t enough to cover the cost of living — forget keeping up the lifestyles these Americans have been used to while working.

Warshaw says the Ramsey team advises people to pay off their consumer debts, build three to six months’ worth of savings and invest 15% of their gross income every month to create their own retirement fund.

Of course, there are plenty of folks who can’t afford to make these decisions amid the cost-of-living crisis on top of other financial responsibilities — like say, that of the “sandwich generation” who are shelling out funds to care for both their kids and their aging parents even as they near their golden years themselves.

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Should you take your benefits early or wait?

About one in five Americans over the age of 50 have nothing saved for their golden years — which might mean working later and delaying retirement.

Warshaw says Americans who say they need every last penny of their Social Security benefits to get them through retirement should wait until they hit 70 to [secure bigger payouts])(https://moneywise.com/retirement/retirement/only-10-percent-will-wait-until-70-to-claim-social-security).

This isn’t always a viable option for seniors, unfortunately. A recent report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute reveals the median age of retirement is 62 — and many retirees say they were forced to exit the workforce early due to reasons outside of their control, like health issues or layoffs.

Many older Americans report struggling to land a job and facing ageism in the workplace as well.

Still, there are some older Americans out there who have managed to build up some solid savings over the years. They may not need to extend their employment.

If you reach 62 and feel your nest egg is strong enough even without the extra boost from your benefits, Warshaw says feel free to take your Social Security early — but make sure you’re investing those funds.

Experts recommend a conservative investment portfolio as you get close to retirement. You can choose to add low-risk assets like bonds or dividend stocks. You can also pick high-quality real estate investment trusts (REITs) and secure a new source of retirement income without the hassle of becoming a landlord.

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Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

Disclaimer

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