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理想与现实:可能让你晚景凄凉的退休计划

The unrealistic expectations of retirement behaviour
理想与现实:可能让你晚景凄凉的退休计划

How much do I need for retirement?

我需要准备多少钱才能退休?

For many, it’s a question that ranks far down the list of more urgent priorities, like buying groceries, paying rent or student loans. But chances are, it’s more than you’d think – due to a number of reasons that reveal how our expectations of our later years don’t match up with the realities of living on a fixed income.

对于多数人来说,这个问题排在伙食费、交房租、房贷或助学贷款等更紧要的事项之后。但这个问题可能比你想象的复杂——一系列因素显示,我们对晚年的设想与依赖固定收入生活的现实并不相符。

Outsize expectations

期望过高


Take the US, for example.

美国人面临的退休问题就是一个很好的例子。

Fewer than half of American baby boomers have more than $100,000 in retirement funds, even though one estimate puts healthcare costs in retirement for the average couple at $280,000. One Merrill Lynch report suggests that one in five Americans don’t know how much money they’ll need in retirement and that most under-save by nearly 20%.

在美国婴儿潮一代人里,不到半数拥有超过10万美元的退休基金。但据估计,平均每对夫妇退休后在医疗保健方面的花费高达28万美元。美林证券(Merrill Lynch)的一份报告指出,五分之一的美国人不清楚他们需要多少钱用于退休后的生活,并且大多数人储蓄短缺了近20%。

Another report reflects the confusion. Almost two-thirds of US baby boomers are confident they can retire with a comfortable lifestyle, even though just over a third believe they’re saving enough money. Nearly half of all respondents believe their standard of living will stay the same.

另一报告反映出对退休生活的误解。接近三分之二的美国婴儿潮一代相信他们退休后能过上舒适的生活,但其中仅有略超三分之一的人相信他们已有足够储蓄。近半数受访者认为,他们的生活标准在退休后将维持不变。

The numbers tell a different story, however, and a series of misconceptions may be to blame.

然而,这些数据反映的情况和人们的认知有所出入,其罪魁祸首是一系列错误的观念。
 

额外的收入意味着生活中的休闲娱乐也越发昂贵,通胀的步伐与生活方式的缓慢变化如影随形,这对退休者而言是危险的

‘If only I’d known’

“早知道就好了”


One reason we do not save enough for retirement may be related to incorrect perceptions around earning power as we get older. In the US, women tend to hit their peak earnings potential by 39, while men’s salaries continue to climb into their late 40s.

我们没有存够钱退休的原因之一是:随着年纪渐长,我们对自己的赚钱能力存在误解。在美国,女性通常在39岁到达她们赚钱能力的顶峰,而男性的工资则持续攀升至40岁后期。

Although small salary increases are likely in later years, the pace of inflation coupled with lifestyle creep (when additional income leads to increasingly expensive lifestyle choices) tend to cancel out this modest earnings growth.

尽管小幅的薪水上涨在往后年份依然可能发生,但通胀的步伐以及生活方式的改变(当额外收入意味着生活中的休闲娱乐也变得日益昂贵)将趋于抵消这微弱的薪水涨幅。

The accepted rule of thumb is to save 15% of your yearly salary for retirement. Yet half of all Americans save much less than this. Some save nothing at all.

经验告诉人们,把年收入的15%存起来以备退休。但有一半美国人存不了这么多,一部分人甚至零储蓄。

Putting off saving for retirement until later in life – even in higher amounts – rarely outperforms earlier savings with compounding interest. According to a survey from American financial services company Northwestern Mutual, one in three baby boomers has $25,000 or less saved.

在复利的作用下,与更早进行储蓄相比,在人生的较晚阶段再开始退休储蓄很难获得更高的收益——即便后来存更多的钱也不行。美国金融服务公司西北共同基金(Northwestern Mutual)的一份调查显示,三分之一婴儿潮一代的存款是2.5万美金,或者更少。

Other countries save more – but still can run into unforeseen problems.

美国以外,其他国家可能有比较多的储蓄,但仍可能面临不可预见的问题。

For instance, Germans tend to be more conscientious savers, paying into a state scheme whereby working-age citizens support current retirees. But the shifting demographics of an ageing society are having an impact: the retirement age keeps creeping up and most Germans still need to save up to four times their annual salary in order to retire comfortably.

例如,德国人通常是更为谨慎的储蓄者:他们通过让工作中的国民缴纳国家储蓄计划以供养退休人士。但社会老龄化产生了一定影响:退休年龄持续推迟,多数德国人依旧需要存有自己年收入四倍的钱,才能保证舒适的退休生活。

Most save money in cash rather than choosing to invest, which compounds the problem by excluding savers from gains in the stock market. Few believe they have enough money to enter the market, or believe that keeping savings in cash is a safer alternative to investing.

多数人进行现金储蓄而非投资,无法从股票市场中获益,加重了问题的严重性。极少数人认为他们有足够金钱投入市场,或者认为现金储蓄比投资更安全。

Many people’s missteps come from a lack of financial education, says Peter Chadborn, director of Plan Money, a UK financial advisory firm. For example, many of his clients don’t know they need a bigger pot of money to derive the same income in retirement.

英国计划财富(Plan Money)金融咨询事务所的总监查德伯恩(Peter Chadborn)表示,多数人的错误储蓄方式源于缺乏理财教育。例如,他有许多客户并不知道自己需要更多的钱,才能在退休后赚取相同的收入。

“Once people are informed about that, they say, ‘If only someone had helped explain that to me 10, 20 years ago, I would have been forewarned and would have made some different decisions. I’m now on the cusp of retirement and it’s kind of too late to do anything about it’.”

“每当人们知道这件事,就会说:‘如果有人在10年或者20年前跟我解释这件事情,那我就能得到事先预警,做出不一样的决定。现在我正处在退休的节点上,做什么都太晚了。’”

‘Not a windfall’

“非意外之财”


In the UK, people aged 55 or older can withdraw a lump sum of their pension to spend or invest how they like, even though the state pension age is 65.

在英国,虽然法定领取退休金的年龄是65岁,但55岁及以上的国民可以一次性取出他们的养老金,按照自己的意愿进行消费或投资。

Experts say many are missing a trick with that initial withdrawal: most opt to keep their money in cash, in a bank account that allows for quick withdrawal. Few put their money into a long-term investment, such as an annuity, that helps their money grow.

专家称,许多人在首次提款时就错过了一个机会:大多数人倾向于以现金或可以快速提现的银行存款形式。很少人将金钱投入到年金之类的可以增长资金的长期投资中去。

The Pensions Regulator, a UK government body, is trying to persuade retirees to take a more financially sound route than keeping their money under the proverbial (or actual) mattress. Even the most modest investments help offset the cost of inflation, which is usually pegged at around 4% per year.

英国政府是管理公众年金的机构,正尝试说服退休人士采取合理方式管理资金,而不要在家存放一笔以备不时之需的现金,或把钱藏在床垫下面。即使最谨慎的投资也能抵消每年4%左右通胀的影响。

But, many of the decisions retirees make are driven by fear, says Teresa Fritz, policy manager for the UK-based Money Advice Service.

但退休人士所做的许多决策都是由恐惧驱动,英国财富咨询服务公司(Money Advice Service)的政策经理弗里茨(Teresa Fritz)说。

“Some people are taking the money out because they don’t trust the pensions industry. They’re worried if they don’t take it out it now, it won't be there for them in a couple of years. That’s not because of a crash in investments, but because the law might change and they might not be able to get it, or the pension company might not be there,” she explains.

她解释:“一些人将钱取出是因为他们不相信养老金产业。他们担心如果现在不取出来,几年后钱就没有了。这不是由于投资失败,而可能是政策发生变化,或者养老金公司已经倒闭,令他们无法得到这笔钱。”

“They're treating [their pension pot] as a windfall, and that’s dangerous because pensions are not a windfall. They're supposed to be there through your older life.”

“他们将自己的养老储蓄当作是一笔意外之财。这种想法很危险,因为养老金并非意外之财。它们理应贯穿你的老年生活。”

According to the Money Advice Service, most retirees also underestimate how long their retirement years will last. Only planning for 20 years may mean running out of money – especially as men and women aged 65 have a 50% chance of living to 87 and 90 respectively.

财富咨询服务公司认为,大多退休人士常常低估他们的退休时长。仅仅规划20年的退休期可能意味着最后会花光所有钱——特别是65岁的男性和女性都有50%的机会分别活到87岁和90岁。

Worse yet, many of those latter years may result in higher expenses due to end-of-life care. “The thing that perhaps people aren’t appreciating is an increase in life expectancy,” says Plan Money’s Chadborn. “If we do need care, we may need care for much longer than six months.”

更糟糕的是,由于高昂的临终护理费用,许多人晚年的开销可能更高。计划财富公司的查德伯恩说:“人们没有重视到寿命的增长。如果我们需要护理服务,那么可能至少是六个月。”

Ask someone who knows

问问懂行的人


Saving doesn’t get easier as we grow older, even with a salary boost. With ageing comes major expenses that can throw retirement goals off course. And when retirement looms, financial decisions take on additional gravity.

即使年纪大了,薪水增长,储蓄也并不会变得更容易。随着年龄增长,支出大额费用可能会使退休目标偏离原定计划。当退休期渐近,财务决策将起到更大的决定性作用。

“You have this pot of savings that you have to make a decision about, and there's nobody standing over you saying if you make the wrong decision you'll be on the state pension for the rest of your life.”

“你有这么一笔储蓄需要做决策,如果你做错了决定,没有人能打保票你能靠着国家养老金度过余生。”

People know how to save money and budget for a fixed income, but rarely understand how to invest wisely – and many begin too late.

人们懂得如何存钱,并且在固定收入的情况下做预算,但很少人懂得如何明智的投资——并且多数人很晚才开始投资。

“Historically, that's been one of the downfalls of financial advice. Someone will go to a financial adviser and say, ‘I need to save for retirement’, and the adviser will tell them to put as much as they can afford into this pension. But that's only doing half the job,” Chadborn says.

查德伯恩说:“历史上曾有过一次财务咨询行业的衰败。人们咨询财富顾问,我需要为退休存钱,然后顾问告诉他们,尽可能地往养老金里存钱就好了。但这只做了一半的工作。”

The best way to plan for retirement in an uncertain economy is through solid preparation and by setting realistic expectations. Once you know how to cover the basics, you can decide when a long-haul holiday or indulgence makes the most sense. Chadborn gives this advice:

在经济不明朗时,最好的养老计划是稳健的准备以及切合实际的预期。一旦你知道如何保证基础开销,就能决定何时作出长途旅行或放松计划是合理的。查德伯恩给出了以下建议:

I encourage people to put their expenditure requirements into two columns. One is the basic living costs that you want to secure with a fixed income source. Only then can you approach column two, which is your lifestyle costs: how often you want to eat out, how many cars you want to own and how often you want to go on holiday. That can be made up with flexible income, because your costs in retirement are going to keep relatively constant except for inflation.

“我建议人们把花费需求分成两类:一类是基本生活费用,这部分要用固定收入支付,保证了第一类之后你才能考虑第二类——休闲娱乐费用:你多久想要出外就餐一次,你想拥有多少辆车以及你多久想出去度假一次。这可以由浮动收入来支持,因为除通胀以外,你退休后的开销会变得相对固定。”

Those facing a retirement income shortfall have harder decisions to make. In most cases, that means downsizing their home or resetting their lifestyle expectations.

那些面临着退休后收入不足的人更难以决策。大部分情况下,这意味着他们要缩小住房面积,或者重新调整对生活的预期。

The best thing people can do is seek financial help early and often, says Fritz.

最英明的决策是趁早寻求财务帮助,并经常咨询,弗里茨说道。

“You don’t hesitate in contacting your doctor if you have a health worry. If we can get people to do the same thing with money, then we will have provided a very valuable service.”

“身体健康出问题时,你会毫不犹豫地联系医生。但其实财务健康出现问题时,你也需要寻求帮助。”
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