OK, kids. Lets talk about the future … your future. True, none of us can anticipate every single problem waiting for us. BUT one constant that faces everyone is we will need money down the road.
In fact, I open every Strategies for Success seminar by sharing my definition of “success”: “Having the freedom to live the rest of your life in exactly the manner you wish to live it.” And to achieve this happy state of bliss obviously require MONEY and likely MUCH more of it than you think you will need.
You have thought about this future financial need, haven’t you? No? Well, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger! In fact, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s annual Retirement Confidence Survey the percentage of workers who said they have less than $10,000 in savings grew to 43% in 2010 from 39% in 2009!
NOTE: Most financial planners say that retirement savings should be large enough to provide about 80% of pre-retirement income. This includes Social Security benefits and pension. (And given recent political and financial developments only a foolish person would base their entire retirement funding on the shrinking value of social Security!)
Beth McHugh, vice president of workplace investing for Fidelity Investments gives the following advice to reach this 80% target. “Most Americans need to be saving within the healthy range of 6% – 10% (of their salary).” But the same Retirement Confidence Survey survey found that 54% of the workers with some form of savings said that they have less than $25,000 stowed away.
Jack VanDerhei, EBRI’s research director and co-author of the survey, said, “People just don’t want to think about this. Everybody thinks they’re too young to think about it, until suddenly they’re too old to do anything about it.”
NOTE: For years many Americans depended on the steady, almost clockwork like appreciation of their primary residence to increase their net worth. OOPS! Now they’ve learned that real estate doesn’t always go up! (A recent USA Today survey revealed that 21% of American homes are “underwater”- worth less than the mortgage!)
PLEASE, don’t let this financial lollygagging happen to you! (True Confessions time: Sioux and I messed around for years before starting up our IRA’s and other retirement funding plans. Shame on us!) However, the true shame will be if you don’t take advantage of this great industry’s capability to build wealth for you. (Remember, I said “wealth”- not consumer spending!)
PS So how are YOU socking away for retirement funding and where are you investing them? Share your tips in the comments section below!