At the risk of ruining your Sunday-morning coffee routine, thereís some eye-opening news out there that bears your consideration.
Well, itís not really news; in one form or another, itís something we all know. But for me, itís just one more reminder of the seriousness of an important financial challenge for many Americans ó living after the alarm clock no longer has to go off before the sun comes up.
Retirement is the single most important life event you will plan for. There, I said it. I am not usually one for such demonstrative statements but itís really true.
We can borrow to buy a car, a home, for college, a wedding or even a funeral. But you canít borrow to fund retirement. There is no loan program like one that allows you to go to college and pay later.
And yet, despite these facts, according to a recent retirement study, nearly half of Americans do not feel confident they will be able to save enough for retirement. A third of the 1,000 middle-class people surveyed for the study believe they will have to work until they are no longer able, just to get by.
The top savings priority for 59 percent of the middle class was paying bills, while saving for retirement was a distant second at 13 percent. Perhaps even worse, nearly half of the respondents said they did not believe you could save for retirement and pay their bills at the same time.
Talk about disturbing and distressing news. To think that so many Americans, and perhaps you are one of them, believe they will essentially have to work until they no longer can ó itís not what the American Dream is all about.
Granted, two-thirds of those surveyed are confident they will be able to provide for their retirement. That raises the question of what factors separate the confident group from those who are not.
The line in the financial sand is having a plan. Of those who have a written plan, a road map to save for retirement, 70 percent said they feel confident they will be able to save enough to retire. Only 40 percent of those without a plan feel the same way.
Only a third of the respondents have a written plan. Using a nest egg of $200,000 as a benchmark needed for retirement, those with a written plan are at 32 percent of their savings goal. Those without a plan are at only 10 percent of their savings goal.
Having a plan keeps you on track. You have a road map and you have systems in place that provide you with discipline to save.
We are not a country of great savers. We have what economists call a ďpropensity to consume.Ē While this propensity does fuel our economy and a good economy does have its benefits, that urge to buy does not help our savings rate.
Saving is not easy but itís definitely harder without a plan. With a plan comes knowledge. And it will give you options.
No matter how much you love your job, none of us wants to work forever. Plan now and know where you are headed tomorrow.
Karen Paul is a financial consultant in Burlington.MORE IN National / World BusinessNEW YORK ó Diversity will get an extra push at this weekís BookCon and BookExpo America. Full StoryWASHINGTON ó Amtrak said Tuesday it will install video cameras inside locomotive cabs to record... Full StoryNEW YORK ó As TV watchers increasingly look online for their fix, cable companies are bulking up. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.