No. of Recommendations: 3
I'm still regularly shocked and dismayed by the number of people my age or younger who think that Social Security is enough to retire on and since the government is "saving it for them" they don't have to bother saving on their own.

When do you start planning/saving for retirement? The second you start working, if you want to eventually retire. The first thing I did when I was hired on was sign up for the full match on our 403(b). It was a no-brainer, 10% of my income put into my retirement plan while I only have to put in 5% (for a 15% total)? Pfft, hell yeah!

But I'm the ONLY PERSON I KNOW who did that! Others may have, but both my co-workers in my office didn't (which is no doubt the main reason why my boss, who was eligible to retire years ago, is still working with no retirement deadline in sight, that I'm aware of at least). One of the police officers that my wife is very good friends with didn't, and she makes more than I do and has the whole time. She asked "How can you afford that?" I've done it since day 1, I never had that money so I never missed it. My take-home pay has been 5% lower since day 1 (not really given that it's pre-tax money so I get a slight break on my taxes, thus slightly less than a 5% hit but whatever).

"But what do I invest in?!?" We have two options here: Fidelity or TIAA-CREF (or both if you want!) They have funds up the wazoo to choose from with every balance you can imagine. Me? I'm an S&P 500 index guy, 100% in that since day one (and thus I've had a VERY good year retirement-wise, it's up 27%, not ROI but total, over the past several months!) Are some choices better than others? Sure (I wouldn't go with an annuity in a pre-tax account for obvious reasons, but it's an option with TIAA-CREF) but, really, there's no option that is going to flatline on you (unless the entire economy flatlines, in which case it doesn't matter what you're invested in, we'd ALL be hosed anyway!) There's no "100% Enron" option, they're all mutual funds with a mix of stocks and/or bonds, etc. You could just throw a dart at the book, go with that and be way better off (thanks to the $2-for-$1 matching) than doing NOTHING!

Anyway, I'm preaching to the choir. This is why retirement is doomed, most people are too obsessed with living "in the now" to even think about planning for retirment until they have to, and by then it's WAY too late.
Print the post  

Announcements

When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement