Retirement planning – don’t panic

“Don’t panic,” seems to be a recurring theme these days. Last night, we heard a Dave Ramsey broadcast which featured his retirement guru, whose name IFO can’t locate on his website.

The topic under discussion was the tendency people have when considering their own retirement to look at their financial situation and panic. What? No savings?

Ramsey discussed a government report noting that more than 1/3 of all workers have NO savings whatsoever!

One out of every three people? This was as astounding to them as it was to IFO. Why? How? But these gentlemen are kind and comforting, not judgmental like some people IFO knows. Okay, it’s me.

IFO just doesn’t have any empathy or sympathy, though she knows she should. She’s an automatic, unthinking saver. It is in her genes. Nobody told her or taught her to do it.

She just saved quarters she got from her uncles for years and one day asked what she could do with them. Her father suggested opening a savings account. She did and became an obsessive saver, especially after learning about the magic of compound interest, one of the few math concepts she mastered IMMEDIATELY.

What about the non-genetic non-savers who are suddenly realizing they aren’t going to have much money coming in after they retire?

Of the 2/3 of people who aren’t in that desperate group, probably about half have company retirement plans and the other half are self-employed, like farmers, small business people, and professionals like doctors or lawyers.

Ramsay and his pal gently suggested ways to get started NOW and encouraged their listeners in that situation not to panic. For the rest of the program, they issued their standard recommendations: make a budget (it’s not as hard as you might think), pay off ALL your debt, start saving NOW.

Even if you are 60 years old, you can still start to save and have a tidy nest egg in just 10 years. You’ll only be 70 then! You can probably work until you are 70, so you’re going to be okay. Just don’t get paralyzed by the enormity of the task. Take it one step at a time.

For anyone who thinks it might be hard to save money, you have only to Google the term “Saving Money.” Voila! 86 MILLION results! You’re sure to find advice you can live with.

At the risk of being snarky, see paragraph #3 above, we note the Ramsey show’s heavy emphasis on fundamentalist-style Christianity. Having grown up surrounded by such warm and loving, but often impractical, people, we totally understand their need for his show.

But being a Jewish lady now, she is struck by the lack of such learning programs in her new community, which offers classes in every aspect of Jewish culture to all kinds of us, from the highly liberal Reform Movement to the highly fundamentalist Chassidic movement.

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About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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