Six Bad Excuses for Not Saving for Retirement

An August 2012 article by Sheyna Steiner published by Fox Business listed the following six bad reasons not to save for retirement are paraphrased here:


  1. I’m paying for my kid’s college education. The author points out that while college is expensive not every kid goes. In addition there are alternative funding sources for college – scholarships, loans and/or jobs. There are no alternative sources for funding retirement – no scholarships or loans making continued work the only alternative to adequate savings.
  2. My parents died young. “Expecting to die young is not a retirement plan.” The improvement in health care detection and treatment as well as new medications have extended the expected lifespan of Americans. The statistical tables now compute lives to 120 and reflect the underlying assumption that the older you are the older you will get.
  3. I’ll live on Social Security. WRONG! Current projections estimate the Social Security fund to be empty by 2037 – just twenty more years. And even if Congress finds a magical cure for running out of money inflation eats away at the annual COLA (, cost of living adjustment). The average monthly benefit for retirees is just over $1,200 – this is not enough to support an independent lifestyle in retirement when you will need at least 70-80 percent of your working income.
  4. I’ll keep working. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2018 almost one-fourth of US workers will be over 55. While this is good for those who want to be employed it is a problem if you become unemployed. Only 12 percent of older employees found full or part-time work. So as long as the employment market is robust, and as long as your health is good continued employment may be an answer; however, both of these conditions are beyond your control.
  5. Too many current expenses. No matter the cause – kids, parents, or debts – the primary cure for the overextended finances may be basic budgeting. This means making trade-offs and cutting discretionary spending to begin the savings habit.
  6. I’m unemployed. Admittedly this is the most difficult circumstance to encourage retirement savings. When families are struggling to pay the mortgage, keep the lights on and feed the kids retirement savings is the first to go. In this case commit to renewing savings and participating in retirement plans that may be offered by the new employer.

Kayla, Mike and I invite your questions or further conversations about these six excuses. We have posted the complete article on our website.