Putting off saving for retirement?
(Here’s why you can’t afford to).
Putting off saving for retirement? We get it, it’s hard to imagine what you’ll want your life to look like in thirty years. What will you need? Where will you live? Planning for the unknown may be complicated but we believe your retirement strategy should be easy to understand - and easy to do. (Really).
Here’s the thing. Retirement means something different to everyone. Some of us want to spend our later years lounging on the beach. But maybe you want to volunteer, or travel the world. Not all of us want to stop working -- maybe we just don’t want to work nine to five anymore.
Here’s what we all can all agree we DO want: Money for the unexpected things that can come up in later life, independence and security. No matter how you want to spend your later years, contributing to a retirement account is the best thing you can do for your future self.
That’s where your retirement account comes in. We’ve heard all the excuses for not saving for retirement. And we’ve debunked them all here so you can get out of your own way and start saving.
“My parents were fine, I’ll be fine.”
A lot of us look to our parents for financial models. They may have had pensions or investment programs that they contributed to over the course of their careers. For many of us, that’s simply not going to be our reality.
We’re living longer. We’ll probably be receiving less money from Social Security than previous generations.
Our career paths are likely to be a lot more unpredictable.
There’s uncertainty around what healthcare will look like in the future. This can make it tough to predict how we’ll be able to afford to take care ourselves if we get sick.
It’s okay to be optimistic but it’s really important to plan for a different way of life than your mom and dad’s.
“I’m only in my 20’s! I’ve got years to plan!”
Time is your best friend when it comes to long–term saving. The younger you are when you start saving, and the more consistently you save, the more you’ll have when you need it.
If you start just putting $25 a week toward your retirement account in your 20’s (contributing more as you get older and earn more money) you could have A LOT more money available to you when you need it. And once you understand the power of compound interest, you’ll never look back.
“I’m too old, starting now is pointless!”
If you didn’t start planning when you were younger, it’s not game over. You can still reach your goals because it’s never too late to start saving for retirement.
Sure, you may have to put more money away now to catch up. Your timeline will be different than a person in her early 20s. But don’t be discouraged!
It’s a long road to retirement. Don’t take yourself out of the race because you had a late start.
“I need to pay my bills! I don’t have the money to put aside!”
Every month, the bills come. It seems like all your disposable income goes to the necessities. It’s hard to wrap your head around the idea that saving for something as seemingly far off as retirement is as important as that student loan bill or credit card payment.
Start small. Even just $15-$20 a week is a great start. Do what you can, as soon as you can. Putting this money aside may seem like a strain now but it’s important to take the long view.
Keep in mind: You don't need to be rich to start investing. Quite the contrary. Take an app like Stash, for example. It cuts through all that finance jargon and lets you invest in fractional shares of high-quality ETFs, starting with small amounts of money (as little as $5!). Invest a little at a time, every week over time and watch your Stash grow.
“Retirement? Not for me.”
Retirement doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop working. According to a recent poll, three quarters of us plan to work in into our retirement years.
In fact, most Americans say they’ll want to have some sort of job after the age of 65. And not because they think they’ll need the money, but because they want to keep active and engaged while earning some extra cash.
Saving for retirement doesn’t mean you’re saving for a time when you stop working. It’s creating a financial cushion for a time in our lives when there may be unforeseen challenges — and new opportunities for adventures.
Consider your retirement account as a letter filled with cash -- sent to your future self, with love.
*Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Stash