I’m starting to think that a lot of these “studies” are a waste of time.
Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article (FREE) highlighting a study that says Americans ARE adequately prepared for retirement. (I’m in the process of locating the study and hope to link to it later) This particular study goes against the grain of what other studies have said. However, keep in mind that a lot of the other studies were funded by companies that have a vested interest in getting people to save more money.
Regardless, I’m to the point now that I think these studies, unless they are used for national purposes, are useless. Retirement planning is PERSONAL. In other words, each person has to take responsibility to find out whether or not they are prepared for retirement. What’s good for me is not necessarily going to be good for you.
The point of all this?
- Start saving for retirement now. The younger you are, the better off you’ll be if you can get started now. If you are older, start saving NOW! Every little bit will help.
- Save as much as you can WITHOUT getting yourself out of balance. Enjoy life. The main thing is to not get caught up in credit card debt or to live outside or your means. There’s nothing wrong with having a nice house or a nice car as long as you can afford it (by “afford it” I mean that you are saving money for retirement).
- Make sure you are investing appropriately for your age. The longer you have until retirement, the more you should be invested in stocks and less you should have in bonds. There’s no set allocation for everyone. Again it is a personal choice.
- Review your retirement account once per year. Is your allocation out of whack?
Although the studies are fun to look at to compare your situation to the national averages, the most important thing to focus on is YOU.