Step Aside, Excuses!

You know the drill. Retirement is coming. It is best to start early saving for retirement. The more time you have to save, the more your money will add up over time because of compounding interest. Your money earns on its earnings. Perfect!

Yet, something keeps holding you back. We know this is true, because nearly half of Americans are not saving anything for retirement. Those saving are not saving nearly enough.

Retirement may seem a long way off, but it is coming faster than you think. If you do not believe me, ask those hitting retirement now. One of the most common refrains I hear when talking with people about to retire is “I wish I had started earlier.” No one comes to retirement thinking they have saved too much. It is always the opposite.

Saving for retirement is one of the most important things you can do for your family’s financial future. So, why are more people not planning (or planning well) for retirement years? Here are a few of the top excuses people make about putting off saving for retirement.

“I can’t afford to save.”
I get it. Budgets can be tight, especially if you have kids. If you feel short on funds today, imagine what it will be like in retirement, when all you have to live on is Social Security. The average Social Security check is around $1,300 per month. Could you live on less than $16,000 per year?

Do yourself a favor and add retirement savings to your budget. Start with small contributions. Even a small amount can have a big impact on your retirement savings over time. Then as you go along, look for ways to increase the amount you are saving.

“It’s too early in my life.”
I have been there. When you are young, saving for retirement is not at the forefront of your mind. The thinking is “I will do that later.” The problem is many push “later” too far down the road.

You do not want to miss out on the very best years of your life to save. The earlier you start saving, the less work will be required to build your savings to a comfortable amount. The best time to start saving is when you are young. The second-best time is now.

“I am too old to start saving now.”
You are never too old to start saving for retirement. You may not have as much time or be able to save as much as you might wish, but you will be better off saving something over nothing. A small retirement savings could make the difference in paying off a debt or having funds for an emergency.

You also may be able to save more than you think. Once you turn 50, you can make “catch-up” contributions to your retirement account above your regular contributions. You can save more over a shorter time to help build up your nest egg.

“I don’t plan to retire.”
It is a good thing to enjoy your work. And, you may want to work forever. However, your employer may not pay you to work forever, or your body may not allow you to do so.

As we age, we face many uncertainties. Many people retire years earlier than planned. It is better to save money for retirement and not need it. You can work as you wish rather than being forced into retirement financially unprepared.

Perhaps one of these excuses is yours. Or maybe it is another. Regardless, there is still time for you to make a positive change and start saving for your financial future. Tell those excuses to step aside and begin your journey of retirement savings. You will be glad you did!


**Adapted from ONE Magazine