Everyone knows that major financial disruptions such asunemployment, divorce and health issues can and do strike a blow toretirement savings. TD Ameritrade has now put a number on it: $2.5trillion in lost retirement savings.


According to the firm, 66 percent of the 2,019 adults itsurveyed had experienced a disruption in their long-term financialplanning and retirement saving.


The most common financial disruption cited by those surveyed wasa loss of a job or having to take a lower-paying job.


Eighty-four percent of those polled said that they had beensaving at a rate of on average $500 per month for retirement, but79 percent of those polled had to reduce retirement savings onaverage by $300 per month. Half needed to withdraw from theirsavings or borrow money to stay afloat. Forty-nine percent of thosewho experienced disruptions will need to delay or forgo retirement,and those who are once again meeting their long-term savings goalstook nearly five years to rebuild to that point.


No wonder, then, that 46 percent of those who experienceddisruptions said they wish they would have saved more of theirincome. Thirty-six percent said they would have started saving forretirement earlier and 26 percent reported wishing they had beenbetter educated on long-term savings and investing.


Along those lines, those who have managed to retire comfortablycite the importance of careful financial planning in theirretirement success.


In an earlier TD Ameritrade survey of recently retired babyboomers those polled named the following strategies as key to theirbeing financially stable upon retirement:

  • Limiting use of credit (67 percent);

  • saving early and consistently (58 percent);

  • spending less on luxuries/discretionary items (58 percent);

  • investing in/maintaining a well-balanced portfolio (51percent).

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