Don’t Put Off Saving for Retirement

Several years ago, I met with a couple who spent their 30s and 40s buying a home and income property, putting two kids through college, and paying for two weddings. Now, after reaching their 50s, they told me they were ‘ready to start saving for retirement.’

Unfortunately, right after that, (it was around 2008), the husband lost his job and the real estate market collapsed. They couldn’t get new financing on the income property and lost it through foreclosure. The husband never recovered his earning power.

While we don’t expect a financial meltdown anytime soon, there’s a lesson to be learned from that couple’s story. According to a Federal Reserve study, almost half (!) of all retirees stopped work earlier than planned due to health problems, family caregiving, or lack of work.

Too many workers put off saving for retirement until later in their career. If you stop working earlier than expected, you might find yourself in the same dilemma as this couple, learning that it is very hard to “catch up” in your 50s and 60s.

The best plan? Start saving for the future as soon as you get your first job. Put 10 to 15% of your salary straight into your emergency fund then into long-term retirement investments. You might think it gets easier to save as you get older, but it doesn’t. Better yet? Work out a long-term plan with your financial advisor so you can get, and stay, on track. When you’re older, you’ll be glad you did! ❖

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *