Essays From A Moron – Saving For Retirement

Over the last few days I spoke to many friends and co-workers about saving for retirement. What many shared stuck a nerve.  Pretty scary that many had almost nothing saved.  Even worse they had no idea where to start.

All works of life. A high school drop-out, many college graduates, there was even a doctor in the group. From minimum wage earners to one with a six-figure salary. The commonality was that they had no clue whatsoever

Many feel that between social security and whatever pension they may have will be more than enough. Most of us have seen what is going on many pension plans are being mismanaged into oblivion and most fear that whatever we receive from social security will be no more than what would be considered a supplement.

Some had invested in the market, but after the most recent collapse circa 2009, they cashed out when the market was low and took a substantial loss. Lack of knowledge, fear and misinformation has led many to never again invest in the stock market. That fear is real.

There are other options for those that may be afraid of the stock market.  Keeping your money in a savings account is like keeping it under the mattress; your savings can’t even keep up with inflation so look elsewhere.

The tools and information are freely available. I typed “investment information” into my scroll bar and I received about 706,000,000 results and all it took was 0.53 seconds. A few minutes reading some of the links and conducting some research is time well spent. Due diligence will get you very far.

There is no need to spend our “golden” years living in poverty. Getting started is much easier than many think. It is never to late to start.

My Aha Moment, I Finally Saw The Retirement Light

The conversation that set me on the right path to retirement savings

One day I was talking with a co-worker about our upcoming family vacation plans. He boasted that his tax-refund would pay for his.  I wondered how, and cornered him into telling me how he managed to do it.

He went on to tell me about the “new” saving for retirement tool he found, the 401K.  Not new, but I wanted to know more, so I kept the insult to myself and allowed him to continue.

His tax burden the previous years had been huge so he adjusted his withholding tax to more closely mirror his total payment.

The key to his large refund was the fact that he maximized his contribution to his 401K thus lowering his taxable income.  I also contributed to mine but until that day, I contributed just enough to get the company match.

I instantly saw my mistake.  All that money went in the trash. Nothing to show for it, not experiences…nothing.  Made the necessary corrections.

Many people do not see the advantages a 401K presents both now and in the future. Hopefully you just did.  Know someone who can be helped. Get this to them.

I am not a financial advisor.  I hold no fancy degree and as such this is not financial advice.  This is simply what I have done and recommended my children do when the time comes.