Better start saving now — NJ the 4th worst state to retire
About 26% of all non-retired adults in the nation have no retirement savings or pension, according to a new study by personal finance website WalletHub. New Jersey is the fourth worst state in which to retire, ranking 47th on the list, mainly because it's so unaffordable.
Ken Kamen, president of Mercadien Asset Management based in Hamilton, said it's not that people don't want to prepare early for retirement — it's just that there's so many things tugging on their wallet. Medical bills, car repairs, home repairs, education.
Even two-income families in New Jersey are having difficult times trying to make ends meet, he said.
To properly prepare for retirement, the first thing he said to do is take stock at where you are in life. Look at the debt, which can take up a huge chunk of a person's current income as he or she gets older.
"If you're in debt, you want to start chipping away at that because you don't want to enter retirement in debt if you can avoid it. Debt makes you do things you don't want to do, like pay higher interest rates," said Kamen.
The only way to get out of debt is to sit down and look at one's financial situation. Then forecast what things are going to look like in five, 10 and 20 years down the road.
While it's impossible to say how much money each person should be saving for retirement because everyone's situation is different, Kamen does say that if a person can put away 10% of their annual income for future retirement starting in their early 30s, they should be in pretty good shape. This saving also throttles spending.
But it's never too late to start saving money for the future.
"Not only is not too late to start, it's imperative that you start because anything you save can help you down the road. Even if you start putting away a little bit today, that little bit 20 years from now is going to grow into something much more substantial," Kamen said.
Kamen said to think about the lifestyle you want to lead. Even though New Jersey is one of the higher income earning states, it's also one of the most expensive states to live in so many people are finding big lifestyle boosts by moving out of the state.
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