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Are You Trapped in the Retirement Savings Shortfall?

Seth Jentner12/22/2014

“A new research report calculates that the magnitude of the retirement savings shortfall [in the United States] is staggering.”

These are the opening words of a report released on June 20, 2013 from the National Institute on Retirement Security. The report goes on to state, “When all working-age families are counted, the typical family only has a few thousand dollars saved for retirement.” According to the report, 45% do not own any retirement account assets at all.

It is understandable that some 15-20% of Americans are unemployed or under-employed and, therefore, are naturally unable to put any money aside for their retirement at this time. But for those of us who are working, it is critical to take responsibility to place money aside for the future. Whether this is done in an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k) or in a personal IRA, this is something that we cannot delegate to someone else. It’s a lot like personal exercise. I cannot delegate that to anyone else either.

When it comes to money, there is much that none of us have control over. We do not control the economy. We cannot control inflation. We don’t control the stock or the bond markets.

But there are some things most of us do control:

  • Do we live within our means?
  • Are we willing to live with deferred gratification rather than immediate gratification?
  • Are we committed to putting something right off the top of every paycheck into savings or investment for retirement?
  • Do we use debt cautiously?

Don’t sweat the things you cannot control. Take personal responsibility for the things you do control. Avoid excuses. Just do it.

You may not be able to save the nation, but you must take the responsibility to save for yourself and your family. Work with a trusted advisor to help you put earnings aside for tomorrow. You cannot delegate this to someone else.

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