Preparing for ‘old age’ used to be so much different decades ago. Today, planning your retirement is definitely an interesting challenge. Especially if you believe certain retirement myths that could screw up your golden years!
Young adults are definitely learning how to better manage their money and save more than their elderly relatives probably did. However, there are still many misconceptions about retirement that can put the golden years in serious jeopardy.
Since retirement age keeps going up and the recent financial crisis having a huge impact on the economy, retirement seems more of an abstract concept for many millennials.
I keep joking about our generation never being ale to retire, but I don’t actually believe it. However, it seems like certain retirement myths are still so difficult to be debunked!
After serious consideration, here are the main retirement myths that seem to still have an impact on millennials.
Retirement myths that could screw up
your golden years
I can’t afford to save for retirement yet
You just landed your first job or have recently changed careers. You earn just enough to keep your expenses to a minimum, so you tell yourself you can’t really afford to save right now so you put retirement plans on hold.
The problem is though, this is merely a lame excuse.
It’s not true you can’t start saving as soon as today! In fact, there are plenty of things you can start now, while keeping retirement in mind. You can at least think of a retirement plan, start small with a 401(k) or even save as little as $20 each month!
My favorite retirement tip: get rid of your addictions now! Smoking, gambling, anything that ‘eats’ money but doesn’t benefit you in any way is a pointless financial waste.
Quit your addictions, get help if you need it, and put that money to better use!
Related article: Learn how to budget money in 5 easy steps
I’ll spend less when I retire
You will spend less when retired. But not that much less!
Everyone has their own retirement plans, so personal budgets differ from person to person.
However, retirement is the time to travel, to spoil your grandchildren, to finally have enough time for your favorite hobby!
Unless you quit eating or paying your household bills all of a sudden, you WILL spend money when you retire! About 10% – 20% less (no more commute, no more buying clothes for the office), but you’ll still spend.
Related article: Are you saving enough for your retirement?
My government pension will suffice
Sure, if you live in the 1950’s!
The older generation was used to contributing to the state pension on a regular basis, so when they retired, they were “covered” for the years to come. It’s what everyone keeps telling me, how important length of service is.
While I do agree that a basic state pension is a nice money cushion, it definitely won’t suffice if you plan on enjoying your golden years to the fullest!
Related article: Retirement saving options for the self employed
I’ll work extra years to make up for not saving enough
While working a few additional years after retiring is not uncommon, not everyone is able or even willing to put up with those hours at the office, when they could be at home, finally enjoying some well deserved free time.
If you could start a small business and keep active during your retirement years, do it! There’s nothing more satisfying than keeping an active lifestyle.
However, if you use this as an excuse to not start saving now for your golden years, just stop and rethink.
Start building your nest egg as early as you can, don’t ‘waste’ your retirement years trying to make up for all the previous ones you didn’t save.
Related article: Best investment advice for young adults
I’ll rely on my inheritance
Are your parents or grandparents filthy rich and extremely old? Because then you might want to skip this part.
Of course, inheriting large sums of money or real estate properties is always reason to be thankful (except for the part where someone passed away to leave them to you). But you should never rely on a possible inheritance for your retirement.
What if your elderly relatives need special care as they age, so they spend most of the money you thought will be yours? What if the property they promised you in their will is suddenly lost in an unexpected trial? (This actually happened to my family. Almost lost our home after a lawsuit over the whole apartment building).
If you do inherit something from your elderly relatives, great. But don’t rely on it to meet your retirement expectations!
Related article: How to make the most of a financial windfall
I’ll rely on my spouse’s retirement money
While having a spouse with a good retirement plan is great, it’s not a good idea to rely solely on their income.
There may be unpleasant circumstances that can put a strain on your personal situation. Divorce and illness come to mind, but I’m sure everyone can think of something even worse: death.
I personally hate thinking about these things, but it always helps to be practical and plan ahead to cover all troublesome possibilities.
Related article: How a Spouse Who Still Works Can Affect Your Retirement
Everyone retires at 65
65 seems to be the specific number everyone has in mind when they think about retirement. Well, often it’s 63 for women. We’re “privileged”.
However, there are 2 ‘new’ situations to take into consideration.
- Full benefit age keeps on increasing! It used to be 65, but it keeps on gradually rising as the years go by. A person about to enter their 60’s is already considered to be of old age! If the governments keep increasing retirement age, soon the golden years will disappear altogether.
- More and more young adults aim to retire by the time they’re 40. And it makes sense too! The younger you retire, the longer you get to enjoy life to the fullest! By the time you turn 65, you would have already enjoyed half a century of great times!
Bottom line is, don’t think there’s still time to save until you reach old age. You can definitely work towards the goal to retire much, much earlier.
Related article: Can you really retire for 60 years?
What are some other retirement myths you think could screw up the golden years? Did they affect your personal retirement goals?
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