3 Keys to Smart Retirement Saving

People are scared of running out of money in retirement. But if you identify the obstacles that keep you from boosting your retirement savings, it can be the key step in improving your confidence.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at a survey from Merrill Lynch that found that more than half of participants are scared of running out of money in retirement. He notes three things that people should do:

  1. Make future saving a priority. The survey found that among those who fear running out of money in retirement, most say that having money to live right now is a major priority. There's a disconnect there, and investors have to be willing to delay gratification to save.
  2. Target unexpected income for retirement savings. The survey revealed that most people use unexpected windfalls to pay down debt, but earmarking that money for long-term investing for retirement is a great way to put time on your side.
  3. Use your budget effectively. Almost 90% of people have a budget, according to the survey, but more than two-thirds of those say they can't live on that budget. That means the budget isn't working and needs revisions to make it more realistic.

How to get even more income during retirement
Even with Social Security as a source of cash flow, you need as much money as you can get for retirement income. In our brand-new free report, our retirement experts give their insight on a simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule that can help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Have general questions about Social Security? Email them to, and they might be the subject of a future video!

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  • Report this Comment On June 03, 2014, at 12:44 PM, LyfordJr wrote:

    "The survey revealed that most people use unexpected windfalls to pay down debt, but earmarking that money for long-term investing for retirement is a great way to put time on your side."

    It depends on what the debt is, doesn't it? Investing in the market may be more profitable than paying off a 3.95% mortgage, but if you've got credit card debt at 20%, how much better a guaranteed return could you expect to get rather than paying that off?

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Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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