It can seem like the message about retirement planning is this: most likely your best efforts will not be enough and it is laughable to even imagine a social safety net.
How many articles about retirement planning have left you with this feeling? If you are someone who did not – or could not – start saving from day one of your first job, if you are someone who has been saving and ‘doing everything right,’ only to get financially broadsided by a life-changing event, or if you are just someone who has been saving what they can when they can, do you feel like there is no point to paying attention to the information out there?
Does this sound a bit over the top? It should. There are options. There are things you can do that will make a difference.
For starters, if you can “binge-watch” TV shows such as House of Cards
, then you can dive into retirement planning in the same way. The future you and his or her life is
a compelling story with relatable characters. It is certainly worth spending the time to get things in order so ‘that person’ can do more than merely survive. Here
is an article to get you started on this very idea.
If you find yourself feeling hopeless or ambivalent, BloombergBusinessweek
has an insightful article
that might just give you the lift in your perspective you need. Financial Doomsday predictions usually just amount to scare tactics, and fear is a lot less effective than a positive attitude when planning for the future, the article says.
The actions you take today make a difference and your choices add up later, the article adds. Packing your lunches during the work week is no longer denial when you want to have leisurely lunches at outdoor cafes in France in the years ahead. Keeping the fully paid-off, older-model car a few years longer can be a perfectly fine tradeoff when you can see yourself taking that Alaskan cruise. When you have a clear picture of what you actually want, of what excites you, it makes it easier to make the everyday choices leading to achieving something meaningful to you.