Make Retirement Saving First on Spending List
Today, you can reasonably plan to spend about 20 years in retirement if you retire in your mid-60s. Think about it -- 20 years where you will have to survive largely on the money you are saving now.
Unfortunately, many folks must work for such low wages that they can't afford to put anything aside for retirement. However, most people with average incomes should be able to set something aside for retirement. If they can't, there is a good chance they are living beyond their means.
If you do not have a retirement program, start one. How much should you save? Don't think in terms of dollars and cents; think in terms of just saving as much as you can. For most folks, that means making serious decisions regarding their lifestyle.
Americans have taken conspicuous and unnecessary consumption to a new high.
Unless you have an unlimited source of income, setting aside money for retirement will mean depriving yourself of a few things.
Setting up a retirement plan involves first figuring out where yourmoney is going and then determining how much you can redirect toretirement savings.
Even if you only come up with a small amount of "extra" money, invest it. It is a start.
If your employer has a plan that matches your retirementinvestment, take advantage of that. It is amazing how many people don'ttake advantage of their employer's contribution.
Otherwise, have the money automatically placed in an Individual Retirement Account.
There's no doubt that spending is a lot more fun than economizing.
There's also no doubt that you will need savings to keep you going in those 20 or so retirement years.
Either that, or expect to still be working when you are 85.
Hanns Pieper is director of the University of Evansville Gerontology Center in Evansville, Ind.
Source: Evansville Courier & Press. Powered by Yellowbrix.