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Saving For Retirement – Do You Have a Solid Plan?

April 30, 2010 · 159 comments

in Personal Finance

As I watch my home shows while walking on the treadmill, I get to see life in parts of the country that I have never been to.  It makes me realize I want to live in New York, Colorado, and Newport Beach.  (I am sure the list will grow, I just haven’t seen enough episodes of ‘House Hunters’, ‘Selling New York’, etc.)  Whereas I realize I cannot and should not have a home in every part of the country, I do know that I would like to travel a bit in retirement.

As part of attaining this goal of having the money and the freedom to travel in retirement, we will need to save money.  A lot of money.   This leads me to the question, what do you want in retirement, and what is your plan to get there?

When creating your plan, you have to be realistic.  You cannot say ‘well, I will save more next year’.  You must take action now.  Things are much different now than they were in even the generation previous.  Most companies no longer offer pensions, and Social Security is now expected to run out of money in 2037.  Therefore, depending on your age, you may need to accept and plan for the fact that YOU will be solely funding your retirement.

So how do you save for retirement?  If your company does any kind of 401K matching, you must take advantage of that now and make it a priority.  That matching is free money, and you should never turn away free money.  Also, make sure you are taking advantage of the time value of money.  Lets say you are 20, and you invest $10,000.   Assuming an 8 percent interest rate, that $10,000 turns into $319,204 by the time you are 65.  If you take that same $10,000 and invest it when you are 40, it will be worth $68,485 by the time you are 65.   However, if you wait until you are 65 to really start saving, then you are starting from scratch, and most of your earning years are over.

Putting aside money for the future can be hard when there are things you want now.  But, you  need to provide for yourself through all phases of your life.    Which situation would you rather be in at the age of 65 – sitting in a house that is paid off and maybe taking the occasional trip, or still struggling to get to work each day and possibly being forced to live with family eventually?   Sometimes it is hard to see 20+ years into the future, but that is exactly what you need to do in order to make sure you are going to be able to live the type of life you want to.   Especially since you may be footing the entire bill.

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{ 154 comments… read them below or add one }

Vicky April 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Good article!

Reply

alex March 18, 2011 at 5:32 am

Great article. Unfortunately I have to admit that no, I don’t have a solid plan. I like to think that I am still young, but I have realised lately that now really is the time to start planning.

Reply

Kris March 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Alex, you gotta plan when you are young so you can take advantage of the time value of money!

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 4, 2010 at 11:52 am

Early retirement is our biggest goal, so we make sure to save and have a plan. We would like to retire when my husband is eligible for his full pension in 25 years, so we save in my 401k, a Roth IRA, his pension, and a Scottrade account that will bridge the gap between when we retire and “normal” retirement age. We’re on track to have $2 million in those accounts combined and his full pension by age 52.

Great post!

Reply

Kris May 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm

You have a fantastic and envious plan. I am a big believer in retiring as early as possible because you just don’t know what your health may bring. I am ‘retired’ now (at the age of 42 🙂 ) but I would like my husband to be done around 55. We will see. These 3 kids are expensive! 🙂

Reply

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 7, 2010 at 11:14 am

Kris, thanks for the words of encouragement! And yay for being retired already!!!

I posted our current plan at Free From Broke and some lady named Shannon said that it’s great we’ll retire early, but we won’t be leaving any “footprint in history”…she thought that we were “miserly yuppies” that spend too much on vacations and aren’t adding anything to society unless we have kids. Maybe I didn’t word it right or something, but I don’t think I sounded like a selfish jerk…hmmm…

Anyway, like I said in my reply to her, good parents are priceless. I understand kids are expensive, but parents like you and your husband make me have hope for our future. Thanks for being a good mom.

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Kris May 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm

BFS, can you send me the link for you FD post? I tried stalking around a bit, but didn’t come across it.

How dare you not reproduce!!!

Thanks so much for your kind words!

Reply

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 7, 2010 at 11:29 am

Sorry…it was on Frugal Dad, not Free From Broke…maybe I need to cut back on the blogs, lol. 🙂

Nah, that’s not going to happen…

Reply

Kris May 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm

BFS, don’t cut back on your blogs, because you may sever ties with me and that would be a bummer. Just do less work at your employer. 🙂

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm

You make me laugh. Don’t worry, your blog is not leaving my favorites list! If they block my favorites at work, I’ll just start spending more time at home reading and less playing around with my layout, lol.

Here’s the article at FD
http://frugaldad.com/2010/05/05/financial-independence-when-income-matches-your-outgo/

Reply

Kris May 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm

OH MY GOSH! Was Shannon’s comment completely off base or what? I gave her a little what-for! (its awaiting moderation at the moment)

Wow, I don’t even know what to say after reading that. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to type! (Not us, of course!)

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 7, 2010 at 4:34 pm

LOL, yeah, I was ticked off yesterday afternoon. My reply post was my third attempt since the first two would have gotten me uninvited at FD, lol!

Is it too oxymoronic to say I hate judgemental people? Hehehe…

Now I’m pretty much over it…I’m a stereotypical red-head – I get really angry, blow up, and it fizzles out. My poor husband…

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