The other day, I was on Facebook and noticed an article on why so many people were behind on retirement. As I started reading the article, I noticed several comments from people blaming the president, the economy, etc., for their situation. So why do we find it so easy to blame others for our faults? Here’s my take on the situation.
I’m not political or religious, so I don’t want to discuss those two issues. If you are, that’s fine, but that’s not what this article is about, and I refuse to discuss those two things.
Instead, I want to discuss why people blame others instead of taking responsibility. I realize not everyone does this, but here’s my take on the issue and what we must do to catch up on our retirements.
Why Do People Blame Others For Their Problems?
Blaming others is much easier because we don’t have to take responsibility for our failures or mistakes.
No one (myself included) wants to admit they failed to save enough money for retirement. I avoided starting this blog for several years because I didn’t want to admit all the money mistakes I made in the past.
Instead, it’s much easier to avoid the situation. We’ve all heard the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” When you don’t see someone or speak of a situation, it doesn’t take long to forget about it.
The downside is that no matter how much you ignore your retirement savings, eventually, reality will smack you in the face. Then, one day when you’re tired of working, you’ll either have enough to walk away from the man or have no choice but to continue working.
You Are Responsible For Your Retirement
At 18, you are considered an adult. This means you can legally vote, enlist in the military, legally work, get married, and in some states, buy alcohol.
I realize the brain isn’t fully developed and matured until the mid-’20s, but the law recognizes you as an adult.
So, you are responsible for your decisions unless you are still living at home. I moved out of my parent’s house at 18 and have been on my own since. Unfortunately, I made a lot of bad choices, given the reason I haven’t saved enough.
They say hindsight is 20/20, and now that I look back, I realize all my mistakes. However, I can’t continue to dwell on my past mistakes.
If You Want Things To Change
The only way things will change is when you change.Jim Rohn
If I continued living the way I had in the past, I would still have $0 in my retirement account.
I’m nowhere near to having enough saved for my golden years; I have a lot more than I did a year ago. This is because I started focusing on my retirement and taking action to help increase it.
If you’re behind on your retirement, you must take action to do something about it. Making excuses and blaming others will not change your situation.
It will lead to resentment, anger, and hatred, which won’t help you. Instead, people won’t want to hang around you because of your negative energy.
Just Keep Investing
You will never get rich by working alone, no matter how much you earn. No matter how much you make, employees are the highest-taxed individuals.
As a business owner and an employee, I must pay taxes on my employee income before I see any money. However, my LLC doesn’t pay any taxes until I’ve paid my business expenses.
As I write this article, my business hasn’t paid any taxes. Instead, I’m saving the money in a separate business account to pay taxes at the end of the year. It also means I’ll be penalized for not paying taxes during the year, but business owners can delay paying taxes. However, I prefer to delay my taxes because my online income varies, and I don’t want to pay the government in case I need the money for my business.
Corporations like Starbucks, Amazon, etc., get more tax cuts than small business owners or sole proprietorships.
So, if you’re only working a job, consider starting a side gig that gives you some tax breaks. It will allow you to catch up on retirement faster than just holding a job.
“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”― Warren Buffett
When I heard this four years ago, I did everything I could to find a way to earn money whether I worked or not. Today, I own blogs, a YouTube channel, and dividend stocks that earn me money 24/7.
That said, dividend stocks are my only truly passive income source. I have to continue working on my blogs; otherwise, they will eventually stop earning income.
But I can walk away from them for a few weeks before that happens. For example, last month, I went on a two-week vacation, and my blogs earned me money from all the work I did on the front end.
So if you haven’t yet, consider starting a side gig that you can set up and pays you while you sleep.
Live Within Your Means
Most Americans don’t save enough money because they live above their needs. According to this article, two-thirds of Americans are not saving enough money.
Instead of saving, people spend their paychecks on car payments, credit cards, memberships and subscriptions, conveniences, keeping up with the Joneses, etc.
I know because I used to spend my money foolishly. Today, I’m saving over 40-50% of my income. I know that’s a lot, but that’s the only way to catch up with my retirement.
We are told to pay ourselves 10% of our income before we pay anyone else. However, paying myself 10% of my income won’t be enough for me to retire early or ever. Sometimes I don’t think I’m saving enough. I feel like I should be investing 100% of my income, but I know I need to live for today too.
Stop Watching The News or Reading Facebook
If you’re freaking out about what’s happening with the market today, stop watching the news and stay off Facebook. These are the worst places to get your news.
I don’t watch the news because it’s nothing but negativity.
If you’re investing in ETFs or mutual funds, you don’t have to watch the news to keep up with what’s going on with the stock market.
Instead, set your investment up on autopilot and forget about it. If you’re the type of person who freaks out when you see the ups and downs of your account, don’t look at it.
The stock market is doing terrible right now, and the constant ups and downs make some people freak out. I’ve read stories about people who sell their investments and sit on the sideline till the market goes back up. Others will stop investing because they don’t want to buy while the stock is in the red.
Unless you’re ready to start withdrawing the funds, there’s no need to look at your account.
Others Have Done It Before You
The one thing that keeps me motivated is knowing that there are other people who started saving for retirement later in life and have been able to save enough to retire.
You don’t hear about them often because they are either embarrassed or don’t talk about it. Plus, most financial blogs are geared toward younger people because their money has more time to compound.
Unfortunately, the money we put into the market has less time to compound, so we have to shovel a lot of money into the account.
The large investments help make up for the compounding time we lost. Although, no matter how much we put into the market, we’ll never have the amount of money we would’ve had if we had started investing earlier.
If you haven’t saved enough money or have lost money in this bearish market, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Unfortunately, we have no control over the stock market; it will continue to go up and down regardless of what we do.
However, statistics show that it always comes back up. So unless you expect a big inheritance, win the lottery, invest in real estate, or other investments, most of us have no choice but to keep investing in the stock market.
If you don’t have enough for retirement, you may need to increase your contributions or get a part-time job like I did. It sucks that I’m 50 years old and don’t have enough saved for my future self.
But it’s my fault; I’m the only one who can change my future! Once you realize that, you can stop blaming others and start taking action to change your future.