Trying to weigh all the projections and forecasts is definitely a tall order. As we consider factors that can potentially impact retirement in 2024, we’ll take into key points that retirees should be mindful of as they personally plan and consider how to possibly shift with the changing times:

In this first quarter of 2024, we recognize several factors:
  1. First, we’re in a context of inflation, as well as stagnation in the S&P’s index, and poor returns in early retirement. Mediocre equity market performance and limited returns require consideration. It’s key that retirees adjust their mindset from old expectations to face this current season.
  2. Second, the need to plan for long and potentially expensive retirements continues to shape the retirement landscape for 2024. Retirees living many years longer than in past generations require a different approach to ensuring that money lasts throughout one’s lifetime. (Read more: The Graying of America)
  3. Third, analysts project that costs will continue to increase on the things retirees will continue to need for life: healthcare costs, medicine, food, and fuel. Rising prices caution that it’s important to consider ways to adjust, either 1) trying to save more, 2) trying to get a higher return from investments (which may mean accepting more risk in retirement savings) , and/or 3) considering adjusting a portfolio for options that may have more security but limited risk.
And finally, we consider that Congress is considering taking action as the Social Security trust fund may fall short of money needed in 2024. One option being considered is raising the full retirement age to 69, starting in 2026 over a phase of eight years. Congress last made a change like this in 1983, increasing the full retirement age to 67 for all Americans born in or after 1960.
For retirees, looking for a way forward there are a few bright linings to consider. First, there is no downside to considering all our blessings with daily benefits of our beautiful coastal communities including access to outdoor spaces and weather that lifts our spirits without adding to our expenses. Second, when retirees know themselves deeply (their goals, the activities and people that fulfill them) then they can align their life activities accordingly. Reflecting on personal desires and goals doesn’t necessarily cost anything more. In fact, retirees can strategically build in ways to fulfill their deep needs for identity, love and purpose without financial price tags. Third, as retirees work to ensure stable income throughout their lifetime, it can be very helpful to employ professionals whose whole job is to weigh the projections and present their clients with the best options and its associated risk.