Last month I promised we’d back to the topic of retirement and today’s the day that happens! You will, hopefully, retire. You will, hopefully, retire comfortably. Perhaps you’re already one of those folks who has money coming out of their ears and is beyond Thriving in this particular area – cool beans for you! Way to go! Chances are however that either you or someone you know isn’t that forward thinking.

Here’s the set of numbers that stopped me in my tracks a few months ago (Reuters, “As More U.S. Workers Go Independent, a Retirement Time Bomb Is Ticking,”:

  • 28% of the self-employed were not saving at all, and another 40% were only saving occasionally, according to TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.’s Self-Employment and Retirement Survey.
  • 40 percent of the workforce will be freelancers, contractors and temp workers by 2020, according to a study by Intuit.

It is a general tendency to avoid scary, hard truths and this one is scary and hard for sure. The consequence of not doing so however is far scarier and harder. Here’s what a survey group of retired individuals had to say, “When asked to give younger people just one piece of advice, 39 percent of survey participants said “Save for the future.” That answer beat out every other (emphasis added), including finding work you enjoy, being responsible for your own life and continuing your education.” Can you hear me? That answer beat out every other answer!!!!

Chances are pretty good this is not the first time you’ve heard the suggestion or thought to yourself, “gee, retirement looks good and maybe I should do something to enjoy it.” Here’s my question to you ~ have you actually done something about it other than thinking it sounds good?

There is an entire industry of super smart people with marketing budgets to make you green with envy who can tell you how to save and invest enough money to make retirement happen so I’m not even going down that road. Instead what I want to focus on for a moment is that piece, the obstacle, or obstacles, which might be holding you back.

Some commonly held beliefs include statement like, “my kids will take care of me”, “I will have Social Security”, “I have a pension from…,” “my expenses will be less because I won’t be working”, “this business opportunity will come in and then everything will be taken care of” and “I don’t have enough money to save any.” Do you hear yourself in any of these? If any of these are familiar to you I would suggest its time to take a very close look at them.

Are your kids really in a position to take care of you? Do you really want to be dependent on them? As a Thriving Individual and Practitioner my bet is that you don’t. Pension payments and Social Security all sound great in theory but do you really want to count on that? Do you want to be another person who says, “my pension fund went bankrupt 2 years before I retired and now I’m only getting 20 cents on the dollar.” If you believe that retirement is about sitting at home and doing very little then perhaps you don’t need much but if you want to enjoy your time, travel, see friends or a movie funds will be required. If you are seriously thinking a business opportunity will come your way and take care of all your financial issues then chances are good you’re not reading this newsletter! All kidding aside, no Thriver can count on anything until its signed, sealed and in hand.

This brings us to our last common obstacle, “I don’t have any money to save.” Here’s my question to you Thriver, do you really not have any or is that you’d prefer to take an expensive vacation or eat out every meal or something along those lines. It is a hard hurtle to overcome but I would suggest such luxuries are just that, luxuries. Eating out, expensive vacations and the such are not given rights and to do those fun things we need first to make sure our financial house is in order.

I don’t mean to startle you or have you running to check your retirement savings (although that wouldn’t be bad!) but please, don’t be one of those people who finds themselves regretting not having saved enough and at 78 still working because they have no choice. If you’re feeling like your obstacles are unique or you could use some extra help in working through them? Drop me a note or give a call and together I’m sure you’ll get where you want to go!