Saving for retirement is hard. It’s like any other endeavor. When things get challenging, bad excuses come popping out of the wood work. My high school football coach always told us that “excuses are like (blank), everybody’s got one and they usually STINK!” Here’s three excuses for not saving for retirement that stink.
Retirement: 3 Bad Excuses For Not Saving
Excuse 1: I’m saving for my kids college education.
This is one I hear a lot. As a parent, I get it. We love our kids and we’re used to putting them first. When it comes to saving and creating a strong financial foundation, it is critical to resist the urge to put college saving before your retirement. At the end of the day, you can’t take out a loan to fund your retirement. You either have the funds or you don’t. There are other options when it comes to paying for school. There are grants and loans and the potential for academic or athletic scholarships. You can also save significant amounts of money by going to a community college and transferring to a university. Your retirement saving should come first. It’s similar to airplane oxygen, put your mask on first, then your child’s! Otherwise, you both might be in trouble.
Excuse 2: My company 401(k) doesn’t match my contributions.
This is one of the better “outs” for not saving for retirement. There are some companies that don’t offer a match on the employee’s contributions but that’s not a good reason to throw up your hands. Even without a company matching contribution, there is still a HUGE reason to sock money away. It’s called pre-tax dollars. When you defer a portion of your pay, you are reducing your taxable income. The more you contribute to your 401(k), the more you save in taxes.
Excuse 3: I don’t trust the stock market.
There are many investment options available that are designed to be stable and limit exposure to the stock market. Whether it is a good investment strategy to invest in low risk investments over a long period time is a separate subject. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about the stock market, but don’t let a lack of trust stop you from reaching your goals. Despite its risks, the stock market is a critical part of long term wealth accumulation. I don’t trust most of the drivers on the road and there are plenty of risks, but I still drive. If I don’t, I won’t get anywhere!
Don’t let the excuses slow you down. Retirement may seem like a long way off but it will be here sooner than you think. Remember, “excuses are like (blank), everybody’s got one and they usually STINK!”
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