Why don’t people save as much as they should? Or really, let’s keep it personal… don’t you wish YOU had more saved right now? The story for most people is about cash flow – either not having enough income to cover expenses or spending too much to have anything left over. Do you fall in one of these camps?
The main real problem is that people aren’t really aware of how truly important it is to save and plan for the future. As life happens and needs keep popping up, it’s easy to put off the long-term saving or even saving up an emergency fund. In the US, 65% of people save little or nothing and the average 401(k) balance is only about $98,000. How are we going to retire on that!?
Saving can’t be just stashing money under your mattress (or nearly the same thing – in a bank account earning 0.1%). You are working hard for money, but you have to also put money to work for you. When you put money to work, it doesn’t take vacations and can work around the clock, no matter what the weather is.
When you think about investing your money to put it to work, do you get a panicky feeling about not knowing how to? Or have you stayed away because you can’t stand the thought of losing money when the market drops? In our last post, we teased the possibility of a strategy that gives both GROWTH and SAFETY. There are actually several options to achieve that, and we have to consider each person’s situation before giving actual advice, but think about it…never losing! You put money in and it can’t disappear when the market turns negative. But unlike a bank account, you actually can see growth when the market grows. This growth isn’t guaranteed, but historically the US market has grown – sure there have been setbacks, but overall it goes up over time (at a rate significantly higher than your typical bank account interest). But also remember that with this strategy, any time you’re not growing, it means the market is negative for everyone else – they’re losing, but you aren’t.
The most important thing is that you decide to save. Yes, really, decide! Even doing something small is better than nothing. The second step is getting a handle on your cash flow (we can help you you with that). And the third step is to make a smart move forward to actually get started saving (and we can definitely help you with that!).