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How to build your nest egg and ensure it lasts throughout retirement

(BPT) - As you approach retirement, are you feeling good about your finances? Kudos to you if you feel comfortable with the amount you’ve saved. Now it’s time to start thinking about how you will manage your savings so it provides you with income throughout your retirement years.

“Outliving retirement savings is a significant concern for Americans,” says Jennifer Putney, vice president of Total Retirement Solutions for Prudential Retirement. “In a recent survey, Prudential Retirement found that 71 percent of respondents fear they won’t have enough money to last a lifetime, and just one in five is highly confident they’ll have sufficient retirement income. But even those who have saved well and are confident about their money need a formal plan to help them transition from working and accumulating to retired and taking distributions from savings.”

Ten thousand older workers reach retirement age every day, and many will be unprepared for retirement. Nineteen percent of workers 55 and older have account balances of $100,000 to $249,000, and just 23 percent have saved $250,000 or more, according to the latest research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

“Typically, we advise clients to save 10 percent to 15 percent of every paycheck for retirement, and that they start saving early,” Putney says. “The EBRI research indicates many Americans aren’t saving that much.”

Retirees face many challenges when trying to save enough money to last throughout their lifetime.  Americans are living longer, markets are volatile, inflation may occur and current investments may fall short. All these factors can add up to an income shortfall during retirement.

Putney and Prudential offer some tips for workers approaching retirement:

* Educational and motivational information is widely available online to help with retirement planning. Prudential offers websites,, which provide valuable information about saving for retirement and that illustrates five common behaviors that can get in the way of successful retirement planning.

* Take advantage of everything available to you, including any financial counseling offered by your employer or a plan administrator. Maximize contributions to your workplace-based plan or IRA, and don’t forget to take advantage of IRS-allowed catch-up contributions if you’re 50 or older.

* Develop a formal transition plan. Your lifestyle will change significantly when you move from actively earning a paycheck to living in retirement, and your income will need to grow in a different way. An advisor can help you understand how to manage your savings and spending during retirement, and how to keep your savings growing to generate continued income.

* Consider an in-plan guaranteed retirement income option if your employer offers one with your retirement plan. This option can help to ensure you’ll have income during retirement, no matter what other spending or investment decisions you make. 

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