Last October, The Billfold asked a bunch of people what they would do if they got a surprise $20,000 windfall. Most people said they would use the money to pay off their debt, then save and invest some of it, and then use a little bit of the money to travel. My thoughts then were pretty much in line with everyone else’s.
And then last week, I got a windfall. My parents were left some money by a relative, and they gave me $6,000 to use however I wanted.
Me in the future. Me save for retirement now.
Obviously we should all try to prepare our nest eggs for the kinds of lives we want to be living in the future, but I thought this interview by Chris Taylor in Reuters
was interesting. The idea is that strong, secure relationships are just as important as socking money away because if, for whatever reason, your finances are wiped out, you'll have people who care about you who can help you turn things around. I don't always agree with Suze Orman, but I've always agreed with her mantra of "people first, then money, then things."
You may think retirement is out of reach, and you’re probably right!
To better assess your retirement needs and preparedness, please answer the following simple questions:
1.) I would like to retire at the age of:
a.) 55, as I am already a multi-millionaire who works solely to alleviate the ennui.
b.) A spryish 87.
c.) It all depends on whether or not I’ve saved enough vacation days by 2067 to attend my death.
2.) I’m in my:
a.) 30s, but I have no children, hobbies, student loans, rent, or dietary needs, so I’m ready to start modestly planning ahead.
b.) 50s, with no history of conveniently-timed dead-on-the-spot strokes in my family.
c.) Grave, which we still need to figure out how to pay for.