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7 Ways Americans Expect to Fund Their Retirement

Happy senior woman in an art studio
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After decades of saving for retirement, the time comes to reap the rewards. But how exactly will you cover day-to-day expenses once the paychecks from your job stop flowing in?

Recently, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies asked some 5,800 workers which sources of income they plan to tap to cover living expenses in retirement.

Following are the top ways U.S. workers say they will fund their golden years.

7. Inheritance

Last will and testament
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Respondents who expect this to be a source of income after they retire: 13%

If you are lucky enough to get an inheritance, make sure you spend it wisely. For tips, read “7 Steps to Make the Most of an Inheritance.”

Also, here’s hoping you don’t live in one of the states with Inheritance or estate taxes — or both.

6. Home equity

Happy senior couple in front of their house
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Respondents who expect this to be a source of income after they retire: 14%

In retirement, it might be possible to tap your home equity in several ways: a mortgage refinance, a home equity loan or line of credit, or a reverse mortgage.

This last option is controversial, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t right for some people. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson discusses the pros and cons of reverse mortgages in “Should I Get a Reverse Mortgage?

5. Company-funded pension

Senior man holding money
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Respondents who expect this to be a source of income after they retire: 24%

It is not common to see a retiree living off a pension — and in fact, some say it never was.

However, there have always been a lucky few who have had this resource to turn to in retirement. And that’s still true today.

4. Working

Senior man working in agriculture
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Respondents who expect this to be a source of income after they retire: 33%

Some seniors work out of necessity. Others do so because they love it.

Whatever the reason, one-third of workers plan to keep a job in their golden years, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found. For more, read “20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees.”

3. Other self-funded savings and investments

Senior man checking his portfolio
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Respondents who expect this to be a source of income after they retire: 45%

Those who have worked hard, saved money and taken the risk of investing in the stock market often are rewarded in retirement.

Nearly half of the Transamerica survey respondents plan to have money outside of retirement accounts that they can turn to during their golden years.

2. Retirement accounts

Woman clasps a golden nest egg in her hands
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Respondents who expect this to be a source of income after they retire: 59%

With any luck, you’ve been saving in a 401(k), IRA or other retirement vehicle for decades.

But even if you are getting a late start, every dime you save now can make a big difference during your golden years. For inspiration, check out “5 Ways You Can Save $500,000 in 15 Years.”

1. Social Security

Senior reading a letter about Social Security changes
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Respondents who expect this to be a source of income after they retire: 60%

It’s no surprise that the nation’s retirement program — Social Security — finishes in the top spot.

Many Americans get a large percentage of their retirement income from Social Security, and as we have noted, it’s not impossible to retire solely on its benefits. For more, check out “8 Tips to Retire Comfortably on Social Security Alone.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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