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For 61% of workers, recession still lingers; how to catch up

Would-be retirees may find their 401(k) falls short

Would-be retirees may find their 401(k) falls short unless they take steps to save more for retirement. Photo Credit: Getty Images / iStock / George

The Great Recession is history, but its legacy lingers. According to new research from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 61 percent of workers said their retirement savings haven’t fully recovered from the Great Recession and 65 percent believe if they work until age 65, they still may not have enough to meet their needs.

What can you do to “catch up”?

  • Keep working.

You can still participate in your company’s 401(k) plan, which gives you a big tax break and allows for tax-deferred growth, and you can put away the $18,000 annual amount, plus a $6,000 catch-up amount when you are 50 and over. Every dollar you put in the 401(k), you take away from the IRS because it doesn’t hit your current tax return. If you make $50,000 and put $10,000 away in the 401(k), you are currently taxed on only $40,000. “Way to go — you just took $10,000 away from the IRS legally!” says Abby Eisenkraft, an enrolled agent with Choice Tax Solutions in Melville.

  • Up your game

Tough as it may be to pay down debt and save, increase contributions. Cut wasteful spending to free up dollars.

Get a side hustle. Turn a hobby or special skills into cash.

  • Reduce fees

The average 401(k) fee is about 1 percent. This may not sound like much, says Nahum Daniels, a certified financial planner in Stamford, Connecticut, “but the typical American worker spends more than $138,000 in 401(k) fees over his or her lifetime.”

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