One day a friend of mine told me that she had some extra cash and was wondering what she should do with it. I asked her if she had a retirement account. She was a successful, educated woman so I naturally assumed that she knew about retirement accounts. Her next response shocked me. She said she didn’t believe in saving for retirement because she didn’t know if she would live long enough to use the money. Therefore, she would rather spend the money now. I asked her what she would do if she did live long enough to spend the money, and she replied that she would figure it out then.
As a financial coach, that response disturbed me because the life expectancy in America is 78.7 years according to a 2011 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report. The national retirement age, the age where you can begin collecting Social Security, is 67 for people born in 1960 or later. Therefore, it is very likely that she will live to be old enough to enjoy her retirement savings. On April 1, 2014 there was an article in USA Today named Retirement: A Third Have Less Than $1,000 Put Away that said about 36% of workers have less than $1,000 saved, and about 66% of workers have less than $25,000 saved! If you look at your current income now, how long can you realistically last in retirement on $25,000 or $1,000?
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