You work hard at your job to pay your bills and afford a comfortable lifestyle — but that lifestyle won’t last forever if you aren’t saving for retirement. Eventually, you will either not relish the task of clocking into work every day, or you will be physically (or mentally) unable to maintain employment. When that happens, you need to have a hefty chunk of savings to keep you in house and home for the rest of your days.
Yet, if you are like over 42 percent of Americans, you probably have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and if you are like 14 percent, you could have none at all. There are some reasons for choosing not to put money into a retirement account — but none of them are good. Here are some of the worst reasons for skipping retirement savings and how to overcome these excuses fast.
1. You Don’t Like Thinking About Aging
If you love your job and lifestyle at present, you may be loath to imagine a future when you can’t work or when you lack good health. The prospect of getting older is difficult for many young people to accept, let alone plan for. However, considering that the alternative is a young (and tragic) death, you should work to overcome your trepidation and make more serious plans about your future. This includes saving diligently for retirement.
2. You Have Some Savings
Just because you don’t have a retirement account doesn’t mean you are financially hopeless. After all, your checking account boasts a high figure and you have a savings account, though not one tied directly to retirement. While you should congratulate yourself on your ability to save money, lacking a plan for retirement is still going to get you into trouble. You need to calculate the costs of maintaining your lifestyle and systematically save enough to keep you in cash for as many years as you expect to live after you retire.
3. You Don’t Know How
Financial matters don’t come easily to everyone. If you aren’t certain where to start when it comes to saving for retirement, you might talk to a financial advisor at your bank or credit union. You can also enroll in a personal finance course at your local community college, and there are plenty of free and affordable PFIN resources available online. In 2020, a lack of knowledge is not a good excuse for a lack of retirement savings.
4. You Hate Dealing With Your Finances
Even if you understand financial matters, you might opt to avoid managing your money because it takes too much time and gives you a headache. However, financial management doesn’t have to be difficult. You can use smartphone and desktop apps to assist with retirement planning and other aspects of personal finance. Many apps automate various processes, like moving your money into retirement savings on a specified day each month or paying your bills, so you can enjoy a healthy financial plan without the stress.
5. You Can’t Afford It
Unfortunately, too many Americans are already living paycheck-to-paycheck and can’t see how they could ever put aside money for retirement. However, any retirement savings is better than none. You might start by contributing just $20 per month to a Roth IRA and increasing your deposits as your income increases. The sooner you start saving for retirement, the better your financial situation will be when you retire.
6. You Trust the Government
If the most recent administration has taught us anything, it is that social programs we once thought were immutable are remarkably easy to dismantle. In prior decades, the government has worked to give more stability to the nation’s elderly, but increasingly, conservatives want to eliminate services like Medicare, Social Security payments and other entitlement programs. Though you are paying taxes to fund these programs, they might not be available to you when you retire in 30 years. Plus, most of these services don’t provide nearly enough to support a comfortable lifestyle.
7. You Expect to Win the Lottery
The years of adulthood fly by much faster than you anticipate, and before you know it, you will be facing retirement head-on. By developing a retirement plan and contributing to retirement savings, you will ensure yourself a few years of comfort, even luxury, at the end of your life.