We’ve all heard the news about baby boomer retirement savings. In a recent poll, 24% revealed they had no savings outside of home ownership. I’m not in that boat, but there are a lot of reasons Mr. Boomer and I don’t have a larger amount.
Raising kids increases expenses greatly. There’s the obvious expenses of food, clothing, and education. I think the biggest purchase we make, a home, is largely influenced by whether you have kids or not.
Without kids, would you care about the quality of the school district? Do you need extra bedrooms, bathrooms and a play room? We don’t regret the choice to have kids, but it is a financial sacrifice.
I never thought about income potential when making career choices. It was all about whether I could get a job doing it and if I liked it. It would have been smarter to find something that met those criteria in a high paying field.
Don’t get me wrong, I ended up doing okay but could have earned more earlier if potential income was a factor in future careers.
My husband and I each have previous marriages and both started over in our thirties. We didn’t recover the assets given up in our previous marriages, but have managed to build new, smaller nest eggs.
There’s no doubt that in general couples that never divorce are better off financially than people that do.
These are just a few reasons people not have the amount of savings that could have been. There are probably many, many more. They don’t matter.
At the end of the day, we should be prepared to retire with the security that there’s enough money. Figure out what you need and start planning on how to get there. It might mean working longer, downsizing homes or moving to a lower cost area.
There’s nothing more important than being prepared for the rest of your life. What decisions have prevented you from saving more?