It is an unfortunate reality for workers of the 21st century that life is different from their parents. Your parents were undoubtedly hard workers and worried about their future, so I do not want to dismiss their efforts. However, for many workers today, planning for retirement requires more work than our parents put into the subject.
I am likely to make a few generalizations in this document. Your individual situation may vary, but in general, the young workers of the 1960s and 1970s had a few benefits that are not enjoyed today.
- Many companies then had pensions. Today, few companies have pensions and only offer 401K savings plans that are moderately contributed to by the employer
- Social Security was a fairly safe security net. The workers of the 60s and 70s had the population numbers working for them so Social Security was going to be funded for much of their lives. The prudent worker of 30 years ago realized Social Security would not cover 100% of future living expenses, but there was little fear of it being defunded.
- Life expectancy was not as long. It was fairly uncommon to have a relative past 80 and definitely 90 years of age - the norm was closer to mid-70s. Therefore, financial planning really only need to cover until about 75-80 years of age. Now, many people know 90 year old relatives or friends that are incredibly active. The assumption is that you will live to be 90.
Life today is different. Today we rarely have pensions from our employers. Social Security is not a sure bet that it has a viable future. In addition, we are living longer.
I don’t want to seem like life was better in the past than it is today. I’m actually fairly optimistic about the prospects of living in the second decade of the 21st century. I believe that we have more opportunities today than our predecessors. I also believe that we live more comfortably than previous generations of Americans.
Unfortunately, we do need to spend more time worrying about our financial future than our parents ever had to do. This concern and planning is not a big drag on our lives, but it is an important element of living in today’s economy.
This is why I wrote my book "The Confident Investor." Today’s workers need to focus on developing the portfolio of investments that will allow them to live comfortably until they are 90-100 years old. You cannot expect Social Security or your employers pension to keep you comfortable after you stop working.
Building a portfolio that will make you financially comfortable is not extremely difficult. It does require some effort on your part. It’s also requires you to pre-plan how you spend and save your money. It is critical that you are not like the ostrich that hides its head in the sand, but instead plans ahead for retirement when you are not working.
A worker in today’s economy needs to save diligently and invest aggressively so that you can retire in luxury. This site, combined with my book "The Confident Investor," will help you invest in the stock market to attain a comfortable and luxurious retirement.
As always, you are welcome to correspond with me personally on this site, on Twitter, or on Facebook. I look forward to helping you develop a portfolio that exceeds the retirement of your parents and your grandparents. Your life and your future are in your control. Now is the time to start the process of preparing for the rest of your life.