Many people decide to work because they have to, are forced to, or simply want to. The major motivation is money in order to pay bills, live comfortably, and get the things they want. Sometimes bills, living comfortably, and getting the things people want can be expensive and require multiple jobs or sacrifices in terms of delaying the gratification of getting the desired object. Unfortunately, the idea of saving money, having a savings account, or a retirement account can be a far distant thought in the minds of many people.
People struggle enough to make a living that saving is just not in the budget and never becomes a reality. Making a living simply entails that they are just struggling to afford the basics for their families. For many of these people who cannot afford to save any extra money, they will have to work until they can no longer work, or for others, they must depend on their government and other programs for assistance. Others may rely or think they can rely on social security, though in fifty years, social security may not even exist, so you will want to set yourself up with a backup plan.
There are still many others who can save, but choose not to do so. The reasons for this may vary greatly, from wanting a new car every year, living in a big house, or buying the latest technology that gets released, or simply - never being taught about saving money or how important savings for retirement is. There are others who may choose to vacation every year. There are many people who choose to live in the moment and prefer not to think about the future. Growing old and retiring is not a reality to many people. However, the future is as great of a reality as the present moment. While you should not put your entire paycheck towards your retirement, you should attempt to put a percentage of it towards a 401k, IRA, or Mutual Fund account with a high yield. A percentage of your paycheck each week will add up to a nice savings, even if it is a small percentage.
Many people wish to retire but simply cannot because they cannot afford to do so, and so they must continue to work. If you choose not to save a portion of your money for retirement when you are young because you feel it is not a reality, then head to Walmart, who is a huge employer of many elder people who must continue to work or return to work because they did not save at all or they miscalculated their lifestyle habits and were unable to not work. If this does not sway your conscious decision not to save, than develop a conversation with older working folks and see why they returned to work in order to get an idea of why they are working at an older age.
If you have a job with a 401k, pension plan, or retirement investment account, you should consider investing a portion of your pay into the account. Make sure you understand what you are doing, ask a lot of questions, and ensure that even if you lose your job, you will be able to transfer the account to a new job or a Roth IRA account or some other account that might accept it.
Do your best to pretend the retirement account does not exist. Once you put money into it, you cannot take money out of it without huge penalties that are definitely not worth it. Avoid taking money out of it at all costs. Consider your retirement account a low-risk gamble, but an insurance of your lifestyle for when you retire.
Consider this: If your present self could go back in time and tell your younger self advice about the future, what would it be? Fast forward to your age of retirement and consider what your elder self would say to your present self now in this moment. What would you tell yourself? I do have a strong feeling that your elder self wished you had put a little bit more money away so your future life could be a little bit easier. Do yourself a favor and try your best to establish a budget that allows you to save some money so your future elder self can enjoy life and not have work so hard after so many years, and have nothing really to show for it. Unfortunately, retirement is a privilege, not a right.
This infographic by AllState further explores the topic of Who Saves More?
Click to open / Right-click for save options
WHO SAVES MORE?
— Retirement Reality by Age —
HEY BIG SPENDER!
Spending is way more fun than planning for the future financial security, yet sea ll want to retire comfortably. but are you saving enough?
81% of Americans believe spending well trumps being rich
Retirees today between the ages of 48 to 67 have an average savings from IRA, 401k investments, as well as social security.
$14,500 Gen X
Generation X consumers today between the ages of 32 and 47 have savings from 401k as well as personal investments.
Did you hear about Gen Y?
Social Security may not provide as much money as other investments.
31% What does Gen Y have to do with it?
Generation Y, or consumers who are just starting careers and families, are 31 percent more likely to save for a vacation than plan for retirement.
Savings today for Expenses tomorrow.
You can pretty much guarantee that today’s prices will not be the same tomorrow. But are you prepared for 2030?
$624 Dinner for two and a show
$35,000 One new mid-size economy 4-door sedan
$44,047 One-year public college tuition
The Bottom Line
80% A secure financial future may seem far from reality for some. But the good news is a vast majority (80%) of Americans believe saving will help them reach retirement.
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.