By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief
If you ask many nurses in their sixties if they’re ready to retire, they may heartily say, “Yes, can’t wait.” But if the question is whether they are financially ready to retire, the answer may be quite different.
In their article in this month’s issue of AJN, “Preparing for Retirement in Uncertain Times” (free until the end of January), authors Shanna Keele and Patricia Alpert note that surveys reveal nurses to be unsure of how to begin preparing for retirement. A 2011 survey reported that “71% felt they were not saving enough for retirement”; another survey revealed that “59% of nurses do not know how to begin the retirement planning process” and most do not feel knowledgeable about investing and other related financial processes.
Keele and Alpert, who’ve conducted research around nurses’ readiness to retire, “explore the obstacles that nurses, especially female nurses, confront in planning and preparing for retirement. We outline steps nurses can take to begin the process; discuss various types of retirement accounts; and refer readers to helpful, free online resources.” There’s also a box that lists crucial steps to take if you’re getting a late start on retirement planning.
Whether you’re decades away from retirement or approaching retirement in the near future, this is a good read to start off the new year—especially if you’re planning contributions to accounts and retirement plans for the year. One thing that’s certain: you can never start planning too early.