Do you put money into a retirement savings account? If you do, you are part of the 72% of Americans who are saving for retirement. The Capital One ShareBuilder's Financial Freedom Survey found people are saving on average 6.4 percent of their annual income for retirement. The survey sheds light on our attitudes toward savings and what we actually do. The report reveals Americans believe they should be saving closer to 12.1% but don't because of more immediate financial needs.
When we were younger the vision of retirement was a mirage. It was an illusion; an imagined distant future that had nothing to do with us in the present. If we saved money at all, it was the minimum. We were spurred on to save money by employers who offered 401K programs with matching funds. By the time we had an inkling that we would actually reach retirement age, we had built lives that required 95% of our income to support it.
If you want to retire or change your life during the Fourth Quarter then it will be necessary to learn to save money...even during the Fourth Quarter. Last week I wrote about U.S. Social Security Benefits and the concept of full retirement. Let's say you are currently 60 years old and your full retirement age is 67. You've made the decision to change your life at 67 so you can take advantage of the full benefits SS has to offer you. You now have 7 years to reorganize and save for that change. Your first response may be to think your world is built upon a bunch of assumptions that will be difficult to undo? Yes, but to make a change, you must change.
Financing your retirement or a life change during the Fourth Quarter is no longer a mirage or an abstract distant future. Launching a plan that allows you to finance the Fourth Quarter of your life starts the moment you recognize your desire to change. It will be easier to accomplish because you have something solid to work for. Think of it as the Red Zone in a football game. It's the last 20 yards before the end zone and a touchdown.
Nugget: Anytime money is discussed anxiety increase. Check out my friend and fellow blogger, Kathy Gottberg's piece on 15 Ways Simple Living Relieves Anxiety & Reduces Stress. Life is about choices and tradeoffs and stressing about those choices and tradeoffs takes the joy out of life.