8 On Your Side: Saving for retirement – Part 3

Local News

Every day you get a little bit older and one more step closer to retirement but are you on the right track when it comes to savings?

Twenty percent of Nevadans have nothing saved at all and nationwide most folks want to be millionaires by the time they hit retirement age.

Sixty-year-old Kay Kreier worked at the Clark County Assessor’s Office for 36 years but four years ago she realized even though she was only 56 she saved enough money to retire.

“I get personally $5,000 a month out of my retirement and so we live off that,” said Kay Kreier, retired.

Her husband, now 64-year-old Ken Sissom followed her lead just six months later.

“When I saw the opportunity that she was retiring and I discovered what a retirement she had, we didn’t need to work,” said Ken Sissom, retired. 

Kay and Ken are millionaires.

They paid off their home 15 years ago when they got married, have no debt and travel three to four times a year.

Their bills? Health insurance at more than $1,000 a month and everyday living expenses.

“I was kind of scared the first two weeks but it grows on you. It’s not hard to get used to, Ken Sissom said.

But even they have some regrets.

Because so much of Ken’s retirement was pre-tax. Any major purchase is taxed sometimes a quarter of the cash they take out. And ken says he didn’t always save enough.

“I didn’t start out by putting anything but the minimum in when I started. I should have started at least 10 percent when I started.

Both Ken and Kay saved at least some money their entire careers. Something that experts say isn’t common.

“One in five Nevadans aren’t saving anything or are saving very little for retirement and almost half report saving less than $10,000,” said Phyllis Gurgevich, Nevada Bankers Association.

She says there are a lot of considerations when saving for retirement. 

“How long did you save? What are you saving for? Do you want to downsize and relax or travel the world? The other consideration that none of us know — how long are you planning for?” Gurgevich said.

The first step is to figure out a realistic budget, cut out the fluff which means if you can’t afford to pay for it with cash don’t buy it.

Pay off credit cards and other debt and then start a plan for your retirement and stick to it. For those who feel overwhelmed, Kay and Ken have some advice.

“Get on a budget and then save for your retirement and then you can enjoy life,” Kay Kreier said. 

Experts say the biggest obstacle to saving is debt. If you have credit card or other high interest debt, your best bet is to pay that off aggressively and first.

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