All right, kiddos! It’s time for Part II of the conversation begun last week about estate planning for millennials, wherein we find a lighthearted way to talk about money and death. There should be a Schoolhouse Rock! cartoon on the subject. Unfortunately the show went off the air before it could find a catchy way to address the importance of bequeathing your earthly possessions and making provision for your dependents and heirs, so we’ll have to make do the best we can. Let’s start at the top.
WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY: What is a will exactly? Is it different from a Living Will? Is there such a thing as an Unliving, Unleavened, or Zombie Will? Do we still “entail” things, like they do on “Downton Abbey“? What if we’ve got nothing to leave but debt and a questionable browser history?
It’s time to check in on our debt payments and savings goals again. If you’re joining us for the first time, you can read about our decision to publicly keep track of our debt here.
Pull up those balances!
I now, embarrassingly late in the game, see credit-card debt as a problem for many that is nearly as pernicious as drug and alcohol addiction.
A majority of Americans with 401(k)-type savings accounts are accumulating debt faster than they are setting aside money for retirement, further undermining the nation’s troubled system for old-age saving, a new report has found.
Three in five workers with defined contribution accounts are “debt savers,” according to the report released Thursday, meaning their increasing mortgages, credit card balances and installment loans are outpacing the amount of money they are able to save for retirement.
In today’s news about our on-going retirement crisis, Americans with 401(k)-type retirement accounts put away a little more than 11 percent of their pay for retirement, but they’re also accruing more debt at the same time. And it’s not because Americans are any more or less responsible than they were a generation ago (Elizabeth Warren can explain this better than I can). And this is just among Americans with 401(k) accounts—59 percent of households headed by people age 65 and older currently have no retirement assets, according to Federal Reserve data.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons