I once heard someone say that “money is something you have to make in case you don’t die.” Think of things that we need money for: food, shelter, transportation, medication. Imagine what you’d if you no longer had access to money? Where would you live? How would you get to work? How would you feed your family? Sure, living month-to-month is fine when you’re working – but what’s gonna happen after that? I don’t know about you but I’ve laid awake at night on more than one occasion wondering how to make ends meet now. Can you picture what your life will look like when you retire?
People are having to work longer because we’re living longer and living longer means we’re going to need more money. It’s just that simple. But where is this money coming from? Retired seniors are having to return to the workforce because they’ve failed to plan properly. According to AARP, the median income earned by retirees is only $25,000 a year. 85% of people 65 and older receive Social Security while others rely on public assistance or government programs like veteran’s benefits or medicare. Pensions are becoming a thing of the past causing more than half of retirees/that same population (63%, in fact) are having to dip into their savings for post-retirement income. Many of us will have to liquidate our assets to afford any semblance of a comfortable lifestyle unless we begin to plan our futures now.
Planning for retirement doesn’t have to be hard. I can show you how to beef up your existing nest egg today with a little bit of effort and a little bit of know-how.
There are obvious things you can do to prepare for your future. Start by advancing your career. To save more money, you have to MAKE more money, right? Ask your boss for that promotion. No room for advancement? Find other opportunities that offer competitive salaries so you’re getting paid what you’re worth. Once you get the job, stop! Most people make the mistake of increasing their expenses after a raise when they should be increasing their savings.
There are apps out there that can grow your savings for you, making it even easier. These apps take a only few moments to register and can be downloaded to your phone for 24/7 access.
- DIGIT makes small withdrawals based on your spending habits, placing those funds in a rainy day account. That money is accessible at any time and can be deposited on the next business day whenever you need it.
- ACORN invests your spare change in the stock market by rounding your purchases up to the nearest dollar.
- BETTERMENT and ROBIN HOOD invests similarly to ACORN but with more latitude in the freedom of selecting which stocks to include in your portfolio.
…and all of this can be done while you sleep a little more soundly at night.
I hate to say it but the world is nothing like it used to be. It’s advancing technologically while declining economically. Some of us may not be old enough to remember but in 1950, the average household income was around $4,200. The average cost of a brand new house was $8,500. A new car, $3,200. We’re not afforded the luxury of having one paycheck carry a family of four anymore which makes it easy to understand why single-income households are seriously struggling to provide fundamental necessities. My father didn’t have this type of information at his fingertips when he was a kid. If so, I can only imagine the type of freedom I’d be afforded by starting my nest egg in my 20s as opposed to my almost 40s. That’s why it is important to me – and it should be important to all of you – that you understand why making money work for you – works for you.
We can’t continue to do things the old way. To be financially successful, we’ve got to try something new.