As workers reach their 40s, these years provide an opportunity to assess retirement planning and adjust strategies to take advantage of what could be 20 more years of saving.
The LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute recently published the Fact Book on Retirement Income 2014, a review of the U.S. retirement income market grouped by wealth, age, and other segments.
Using data from the Fact Book, it's possible to take a quick look at the status of these "40-something" middle-market households. The data are split into two age groups: age 41-45 years old and age 46-49 years old.
In terms of financial assets, households in the 41-45 age group have $158,887 on average. Ages 46-49 average $167,556 in financial assets.
What about the other side of the ledger? A more complete picture emerges when looking at household debt for the two age groups. Among the 41-45 age group:
- 97 percent have a mortgage and an average mortgage debt of $166,921
- Beyond mortgage and credit card debt, 65 percent have on average $26,384 of other types of debt (car loans, student loans, personal loans, etc.)
Among ages 46-49:
- 84 percent have a mortgage with an average mortgage debt of $209,342
- 71 percent have on average $50,654 of other debt, as defined above.
What does this quick analysis reveal? For advisors with clients in their 40s, it's important to know what kind of debt load they are carrying. If these key saving years are dedicated to managing high debt, clients will lose a big opportunity for long-term growth in their retirement accounts.