2 min read February 08, 2019
Facing a retirement income shortfall? Here are some ideas.

If it looks like your sources of income in retirement might fall a little short, don’t panic. Here are some steps you can take today to help fill in your income gap. 

Couple who is finding ways to fill the gap in their income for retirement.

Retirement is (hopefully) just around the corner. You pulled together your financial information and listed out your likely expenses and income sources. (FYI—our budget worksheet (PDF) can help you do this.) You finally crunch the numbers and…you’re falling short. Don’t panic just yet.

9 steps you can take to help fill that income gap:

  1. Save as much money as you can until you retire.
  2. Max your contributions to your employer’s retirement plan and any other retirement accounts (like an IRA). If you’re 50 or over, you might be able to contribute even more than the standard max—check with your employer.
  3. Review your monthly expenses and see what you can cut today so you can save more.
  4. Pay off credit cards and similar debts while you still have a paycheck—so you don’t have to use your retirement savings.
  5. Put off retirement for a while longer so you have more time to save—and fewer retirement years to cover.
  6. Rethink any expensive hobbies or travel plans.
  7. Work part-time in retirement for some extra spending money.
  8. Consider delaying Social Security (if you can) so you can take advantage of a higher payout.
  9. Review your withdrawal strategy to see how taxes and RMDs affect retirement withdrawal amounts.

Get help from a financial professional

Retirement income planning can be a tricky topic. Consider working with a financial professional. He or she can review your current and future expenses, income sources, and retirement goals, and help you put together a plan to get you where you want to be.

Ready to get started?

  • Looking for estimates? Start visualizing retirement with your own info by visiting our planning tools and calculators.
  • Have a Principal retirement account from your employer? Log in to principal.com to access personalized planning, sign up for our quarterly newsletter and more. First time logging in? Get started here.
  • Interested in starting an individual retirement account (IRA) or consolidating other accounts into your existing one? Call 800-247-8000, ext. 2503 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT. Not familiar with IRAs? Here’s a refresher.
  • Got a financial professional? They can help you figure out your next steps. If you’d like to meet with one face-to-face, we’ll help you find one.

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