“Retirement? Non-existent…”

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 12:53 pm

One of the prevailing themes among the people we’ve met is a deep-rooted sense that retirement, in many ways, is just a fantasy. Younger people, in particular, seem to have come to the conclusion that the future offers little to be optimistic about, at least financially.  This attitude stems from the  harsh reality that, for most young people,  there isn’t any financial security out there for them now, making any real optimism about the future seem groundless and silly.

This young woman from Austin echoes a sentiment of skepticism and resignation heard throughout the country. Despite her college degree, she struggles to get by with a modest income, even in a relatively affordable city.  Between taxes, rising rent, food and gas prices, and the everyday expense of simply living, she is forced to admit that there just isn’t anything left to save for retirement.

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  1. Comment by JS on March 26, 2013 at 6:26 am

    I’m a middle aged parent who has contributed to 401(k) throughout my working career. I am slowly accumulating a nest egg. I always made a habit of contributing. I also opened a brokerage account to invest after-tax money.. Now as a parent, I have tried to instill financial literacy into my child. I also have a rollover IRA at a brkerage. I even made sure to get my statements by snail mail. That way every month the statements show up as a reminder to me and my child how important saving is. When she first started baby sitting, I explained how money could grow over time by saving and investing. So she got a bank savings account and kept accumulating money from baby sitting and birthday gifts, etc. After that grew she got a bank CD for better interest rates. Then she became curious about investing so she opened a Roth IRA with her baby sitting money. Now she is exciting about investing and recognizes how this money can really grow for decades into retirement. I think the key was to start early and start small. Then it progressed from there. Now in high school, she already has an IRA worth a few thousand dollars. Saving has become a lifestyle for her. She won’t have to unlearn consumption in her twenties, then learn to save starting at thirty – and already be far behind. She will already know the importance of saving – and already practicing it. That’s what it needs to be for everyone. We need to start people early so they recognize the responsibility they have to themselves. I’m trying to change the cultue a tiny bit at a time. We need to encourage this more in all our young people.

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