Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yes, You Can

Interesting headline in Sunday's Detroit Free Press:  Will I ever be able to Retire?  The fourth sentence of the article begins with 'Never much on saving, these Americans in their 50's and 60's...'.

Whoa.  Fifties and sixties?  The children of depression era parents?  The ones who told us to eat up because there were starving children in China?  (I know, it never made sense to me either.)

If there was one thing my parents taught me, and so it seems my husband's parents also, was that you need to save first and spend later.  And if these people were not into saving much, then they couldn't have lost too much in the economic downturn.

No, I am not beating up on folks who have lost pensions and seen their portfolios dwindling.  I am only wondering why so many felt the need to spend so much all their lives.  I've lived long enough to ask myself many times, 'How do those people afford their lifestyle?'  I assumed it was either that they spent every penny they earned (as pointed out in the article), or they over-spent and used their credit cards to the max.

When you are young, retirement seems far off into the future.  It sure seemed that way for me.  I left my job with the City of Detroit before I vested my pension.  It did not seem like such a big deal back then.  But if all works out, retirement day arrives and you want to be ready for it. 

I have friends who say they can never afford to retire.  Well, it is not how much you make, but how much you spend.  If you have been relatively frugal in your working years, the transition to retirement is not so bad.  If you have lived 'high on the hog', as they say, well, you may not be able to retire.  Ever.

There is life after retirement, but you need to plan for it when you are twenty, not sixty.  No sense in 'keeping up with the Joneses', if they are never going to retire. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear your comments and will try to reply on this blog and visit your blog when available.