Are You Crazy???

 
StraightjacketI’ve heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different outcome. I can add to that. My definition of insanity is knowing you’re on a road to nowhere and staying there. That is what 60% of US workers are doing. These are people who are not asking what next, who aren’t willing to take simple steps to secure their future.

I wish it were possible for you to hear me scream in a blog post. START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FUTURE. Apparently people are much too concerned with the present to think about the future. My post yesterday was about taking opportunity when it’s available but maybe you need me to be a little clearer. You’re an idiot. That’s right I just called you an idiot and, like the classy Governor of NJ, I’m standing by my statement.

Why am I so angry? A new report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) states that 60% of US workers have less than $25,000 in savings and investments. People talk about welfare recipients like they’re a drain on society, well wait till the fools who only have $25,000 saved toward retirement get too old to work!

Success comes when you take action now for a benefit in the future, but according to the study, “instead of saying I’m going to save more today, they just say I’m going to defer my retirement age once I get to 65.” Are you kidding me? Yeah, that’s a great plan, right up there with playing the lottery or praying for a million dollars.Lottery Ticket

The other number that is pathetic is that only 14% of the people surveyed feel very certain that they will have enough to live comfortably in retirement. But apparently 100% aren’t willing to do a damn thing about it. There is no way to escape the fact that you are the only one responsible for your future. 

The survey does not include the value of a person’s home – which is a good thing since a lot of these people, even so called experts, probably used their homes as ATMs contributing to the housing collapse. The other thing the survey doesn’t include is the value of any traditional pension plans the respondents may have. I say “may have” because most don’t know if they do. Although 56% expect to get a pension only 33% say they have one! Was I being to harsh with the name calling?

I do not include my pension or social security in my projections for retirement. If I’m not comfortable without that money then I’m not saving enough – boy am I in the minority here! According to the St. Louis Fed the personal savings rate for 2012 is 4.6% but compare that to my personal savings rate for 2011 of, brace yourself, 32%.

I’ll admit it’s easier to get the savings rate up when your basic necessities are met but it goes far beyond that. I could easily afford an iPhone or iPad or both but I didn’t buy those because they are not a necessity. I could have an HDTV in my bedroom but I rarely watch television there and that would increase the cost of my Direct TV service. These are the choices we make in order to get up to that high savings rate and it is the reason we are so far off the charts in our savings and investments and why we have so many options.

Are you asking what next or are you coasting? With the steep incline of retirement looming, coasting won’t take you very far. What are you doing to plan for the future?

 


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