Keeping your retirement expectations in line with reality

Most Americans look forward to the day when they don't have to deal with the daily grind of a nine-to-five job. Retirement is the opportunity to relax, travel and spend quality time with friends and loved ones, but none of these activities are possible without money.

A recently-conducted AARP survey of workers over 55 found that 36 percent of these individuals have less than $10,000 in savings. Even with monthly Social Security benefits, $10,000 wouldn't get a person through the first year of retirement. In an interview with FOX Business, Jane Bryant Quinn, AARP's personal finance expert, said Baby Boomers need to take an honest look at their financial situations and make retirement plans accordingly. 

"While they may not have the flexibility to retire early, they now have to take steps to make sure they can retire at all," Quinn told the media outlet. "They're generally intending to work longer, which will improve their situation, unless they get fired or get sick and can't work anymore."

She added that the biggest financial regret of most Baby Boomers is simply not saving enough money. Although some may have been interested in pursuing some type of early retirement strategy, they tied up their funds in employer-sponsored retirement plans and pensions instead of considering larger-yield pursuits like real estate investing

Quinn noted that it's not too late for individuals on the cusp of retirement to still accumulate the funds they need to have a comfortable life once they stop working full time. She suggested starting a small business, creating and sticking to a household budget and avoiding overspending, especially during the first few years of retirement.