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According to this Yahoo! Finance article which quotes a LIMRA survey, almost half of those living in the US are not saving for retirement. This is a scary statistic for several reasons:
1. Social Security may not be around for ever. We have heard it for years and I am pretty confident the day will comes when the government tells everyone “sorry, we spent all of the money on other stuff… go back to work.”
2. Even if you are lucky enough to get social security income, it won’t cover your bills. Somewhere along your journey, you are supposed to pay everything off (including your home) so you can live on a fraction of what you earned, not help anyone else, and take fewer vacations than you did when you worked 50 hours per week. That is, if you plan on living on social security.
So what about you? What are you doing for your retirement? No matter what age you are, it’s never too late. If you are in your 20’s, then now is a great time to get started. Don’t fall into the “I am young, I have time trap” because that’s how life passes people by and they end up working at Walmart in their golden years. And that’s not an insult to the hard working folks at Walmart, but when I see someone my grandmothers age working behind a register, I can’t help but think that when she was a little girl playing dress up she looked at her parents and said “one day I am going to get married, live a great life and then after my kids are all grown up and I am old and in pain, I am going to work 8 hour shifts per day on my feet until I die.” I am thankful that my grandparents did well for themselves and did not end up like many. My parents have seen their financial struggles, but I don’t expect they will end up working at Walmart.
If you haven’t gotten a start on your retirement planning, I’d like to offer you a complementary consultation with one of my trusted colleagues. Just shoot me an email through the contact form with your contact information. I believe in retirement planning like I believe in God because without a retirement plan, you are planning on being a financial burden to someone (most likely a family member.) That’s not a guilt trip, especially if you failed to plan and are in a bad place, but it’s a “get real” trip, knowing that you can avoid it.
My advice in short is:
1. Develop a plan. Your plan should allow you to leverage the years when you are making good money and stop working young enough to enjoy life.
2. As far as 401k plans go, while they seem like a good thing, they really are only good if your employer matches your contributions. When an employer matches what you put in, that’s free money. When you just put in your own money, you are simply delaying paying taxes until a time in your life when you need net income the most which isn’t the best plan.
3. Consider life insurance (not death insurance.) Many insurance agents won’t tell you this, but there are two ways to write an insurance policy. The first (and most common) is to write it so that when you die, it pays your beneficiary lots of money. It sounds noble, but let’s be real; you have to die you use it and that would suck. They call it life insurance, but they should really call it death insurance.
The second kind allows you to take out money that is accrued (TAX FREE) when you are ready to retire and still protects your beneficiary if you die. That’s LIFE insurance because it insures that you will be able to live life on your terms in your retirement years.
I am blessed to work with some of the best retirement planners in the country and I am happy to help connect you with someone who can educate you and help you retire well.
Remember, no one plans to fail, but many fail to plan, and by doing so, fail.