You really summed it up well Andrea–we’re responsible for our own future, and “retirement” is a newer concept. The statistics I’m seeing are that people older than 58 will probably get the Social Security they were promised, but that anyone younger than that should expect reduced benefits. Saving is the key. Thanks for an insightful post!
Well said Robin and so true I am 60 years old and receive a pension, If I only knew how bad the economy would
become 30 years ago I would have saved so much more.
I was under the Illusion things were ok, “I have a pension and COLA and thought this would be enough”, how
wrong I was. The State recently stopped all COLA because they say the pension system is not healthy
because the politicians were allowed to raid our funds and will not pay it back, so, we are left hanging
out to dry.
Take this advice from a 60 year old, save save and save some more or you could find yourself in my condition
old and dependent on a pension with problems. if only I knew, how many times have you heard that “if only I knew”. Thank you Andrea for a well written factual article.
@Dillion thank you for the insight, it is so important for people to hear real life stories like this!
Hey Andrea, I’m in debt and have 0 emergency savings. Since I’ll only be 22 in a couple of weeks, do you recommend I wait until the first two things are accomplished (eliminated debt and an emergency fund)?
I agree. Although I suspect I’ll receive a Social Security check at some point, I don’t believe it’ll cover my living expenses. SS barely does that now for current retirees. If I want to retire (and honestly, I’d much rather find a profession I love so much I never wanna quit), I know making it happen is completely up to me. Still, I think Americans should rely more on their loved ones and their community instead of large corporations and government.
@Agatha I am with you on that! My retirement plans are based 100% on what I save. Yes too feel so bad for those raised thinking a pension and social security were going to be an option, it really puts them in a bad position.
@Robin Thank you! That is an interesting statistic, had not see it translated to an exact age!
@Briana I always say it will depend on your budget. If you only have $25 extra dollars then you should get a small emergency fund then work on the debt. But if you have an extra $300 you may want to put $100 into investing and the rest to one of the others. It is really important to have some sort of cash for an emergency as that is your life buffer. Then the earlier you invest the more you will have in the long run.
@Shawanda Many people don’t realize how little social security will actually give them! The current maximum for a 66 year old is $2,513 a month & that is the MAX, most people don’t get that. The scary part of working “forever” is that even if we want to our health might not hold out! I agree we do need to get back to being more supportive of each other in every area, from raising kids to retirement. It makes us more connected, healthier and more stable!
Great advice. We definitely feel like we’re behind on retirement savings, but I guess everyone does these days! I just keep socking away more and more, paying down debt faster, and hope it all works out. There are so many factors including our health and lifespan that are impossible to plan for–it totally scares me!
I think most of us shouldn’t rely on the government or pensions to support us in retirement. I think we should go back to the days before we had all that and fended for ourselves. At least that’s what I’m doing with my finances. If I get some Social Security or other government income during retirement, that’s great. But I view it as an added bonus since I’m already stashing away funds for my retirement years.
@Kelly I think that is all we can do, try to do our best. It is hard to know exactly what we will need when we are younger, so I always say get as much as you can in savings and fine tune closer to retirement!
@Carrie I am 100% with you, that is exactly how I approach our investing!
My husband and I are just at the age in which our own parents are retiring at the same time. One set of family members planned exceptionally well, and the other set planned exceptionally badly. It’s a real eye opener to see where each ended up, and the values regarding money that got them there. Really makes us think about our own retirement and made us feel more confident about the way we’ve set up our own priorities.
It is always interesting to watch what happens to others when they managed differently. We too have parents that all planned very differently, and it is interesting to see how retirement is going! Even more interesting for me is that my grandma’s are still alive and I get to see how different their planning was from each of their kids. I love watching money behavior, it is so fascinating! And of course then learning from watching.
I’ve totally nixed social security as a possibility and feel it’s 100% up to me to save for retirement. Luckily, I’m only 33 and have the time to do that. My heart breaks for people that are older and expected social security to be there for them, and it may not be.