Consider Yourself Fortunate – Retirement

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If you’re reading this, you probably have some basic financial knowledge. You are probably saving some money regularly. You probably think about your retirement periodically.

 

You’ve probably gone online and checked out a couple of tools to see if you’re on track. Am I right just a little bit? If so, consider yourself fortunate because you’re in a position of awareness and can hopefully set yourself up for a comfortable retirement. However, there are MANY that can’t.

 

Many Are Not Prepared For Retirement

Per CNBC, Americans on average have not even saved $100,000 for retirement. An even more staggering statistic is that the median for all families is $5,000! The full article is here: Average Saved For Retirement – Source: CNBC. Perhaps people are living more in the present, perhaps they have too much debt to be thinking about saving anything right now, perhaps they don’t even have a job, perhaps their employees doesn’t offer a retirement plan OR one with a matching contribution.

Apart from saving there are steps we should take in our lives to help transition ourselves for upcoming retirement. U.S. News & World Report simply explains some of these steps including downsizing your home, not going out as much and looking for alternative entertainment ways and staying on top of your health: Transitioning into Retirement – Source: MSN. By following these steps, we won’t be in such a lifestyle shock when we enter our retirement years.

 

I myself have a long way to go before retirement. But I think about it a lot for some reason. Mostly I think about what can I possibly do every day to fill in so much time? As a result, I don’t think I look forward to it because I like going to work, having a routine, enjoy my job and socializing with my co-workers.

 

So even sometimes on the weekend, I find that I am missing work. Ok sorry, I went off on a slight tangent there but I’m back on track.

 

So Many Need To Save So Much More

The average life expectancy in the US is almost 79 years. It’s no surprise that we’re living longer now than we were even 50 years ago (because I googled the average back in 1967 and it was almost 71 years.

 

This is attributed to advancements in medicine, organic food offerings, variety of diets people have and the craze for working out and taking all types of vitamins and supplements. If we have a gym membership that we’re paying $60 a month for, but not saving for our future, what’s the point of trying to stay healthy and active? It’s already evident that we are not saving enough for retirement anyway as a whole.

 

But just for kicks, let me see something. So based on the increased life expectancy of 8 years between 1967 and now how much extra would we need for retirement.

 

Per the Motley Fool, about $45,000 per year is being spent by Retirees. This includes expenses like Housing, Transportation, Healthcare, Food, Entertainment, Insurance, Cash, and Other. So for the extra 8 years of life, we would need an incremental $360,000 ($45,000 X 8 years). See the full article here: How Much is Needed in Retirement – Source: Motley Fool.

 

Encourage Others to Save

I believe that most people reading this are probably saving (some more than others, but that’s ok). Because we have the financial knowledge, insight, and some awareness of tools and techniques to save for retirement, we should encourage our friends and family to save more. This is not something everyone is comfortable discussing, particularly if you’re not involved in Personal Finances.

 

The best example you can present is your own. If you’ve truly sacrificed something to help you save more, then you’ll be in a better position to convince others to do the same because it has worked for you. For example, I use the gym at my work during lunch. It doesn’t have ALL the equipment I would like, but it has plenty of machines and free weights to get a complete workout.

 

In addition, it’s free for me to use (compared to paying around $40 per month or $480 per year on a gym membership), and I don’t have to separately go to the gym before or after work which would take an additional 1-2 hours out of my day and away from my family.

 

Personally, I feel like I’m gaining something more in terms of time and money saved instead of sacrificing more training facilities which I may or may not use if I joined an outside gym. Actually when I tell my friends I work out at my work, they say I’m so lucky, but when I ask them if they have a gym at work, most of them say yes. Confusing right? I ask them why don’t you work out there and they say there too busy or it doesn’t have enough equipment and they’d rather go to a specific gym.

 

Do you have any ideas on how to encourage your friends and family to save more for, not just retirement, but an emergency account, trying to pay off their car earlier, credit card debt or student loans? Please share below.