Why Young People Ignore The “Saving For Retirement” Message. And What To Do About It.

Why would someone in their teens or twenties even bother to think about saving or investing for retirement? And who does bother to think about it anyway?

Well, people who think about saving for retirement are those who think about retirement. But young people do not really think about retirement. At least I didn’t when I was younger.

Fresh out of school, on my first few jobs, the idea of retirement was, in my mind, so far away, that if and when anyone spoke about retirement, my mind would glaze over. I thought it was so far in the future that I could postpone thinking about it until “someday.” After all, didn’t I have at least forty years to get around to thinking about it?

Yes, there are plenty of studies showing how much easier it is to start saving (i.e., investing) when young. But there is so much noise and information about everything in the world that we filter and ignore most of it just to stay sane. Saving for retirement at that age can be just so much noise.

And how difficult it was for anyone to tell me I should be saving for retirement. I certainly was told about it, but barely remember it. And it didn’t really sink in at the time.

At the time I had more pressing things to think about. Or so it seemed.

So, may I suggest that there is a better way. What younger people should be told is to Build Wealth.

I view wealth building as much more appealing description of what to do than saving for retirement.

All the same methods apply. Regularly save. After you have a cushion of savings and an emergency fund, regularly invest. Regularly contribute to savings plans like IRA, 401K, etc.

For the average person, saving for retirement and building wealth are just about the same thing. At least in my view. They both can (and do) use the same methods and vehicles. They both have great appeal. In fact, building wealth sounds much more appealing even now that I retired/stopped working.

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