It's a Rocky Road to Retirement (But Hey, At Least You're Not Alone)

March 1, 2018

So, today is March 1st—which happens to be...National Pig Day? (Yep, we checked. It's real thing.) While we're certainly not against celebrating Babe, Piglet, Miss Piggy, and all of their famous and not-so-famous friends, this being The Dime and all, we're more interested that we're halfway through America Saves Week. Not familiar with it? Don’t worry, we’ve got you.
America Saves Week, coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council, is an annual opportunity for organizations across the country to encourage and promote good savings behaviors—as well as a chance for all of us to assess how we’re doing in terms of setting and sticking to our savings goals (whether that goal is a late-winter exodus to a more tropical locale, or a solid nest egg come retirement).

2018’s America Saves Week is in full swing (it runs from February 26 through March 3), with each day taking a different savings “focus:”

  • 26th: Save with a plan
  • 27th: Save the easy way...automatically
  • 28th: Save for rainy days
  • 1st: Save to retire
  • 2nd: Save the extra
  • 3rd: Save as a family

The good people at America Saves and the American Savings Education Council clearly have something for everyone, but we here at The Dime can’t help but feel relieved to see that they’re choosing to address saving for retirement (the topic is, after all, an integral part of our DNA).

It’s also something on the minds of our fellow Coloradans—or so says a recent report from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), a nonprofit research institute out of Washington, D.C. that’s dedicated to fostering a deep understanding of the value of retirement security to employees, employers, and the economy as a whole.

In a statewide survey NIRS conducted in November of 2016, they found that 82% of Coloradans agree that the U.S. is facing a retirement crisis—and this isn’t a concern isolated to those closest to retirement. It turns out that younger Coloradans are just as, if not slightly more, worried about the future. In fact, when asked to describe how they feel about preparing for retirement, 44% responded that they feel unprepared, frightened/concerned, and unsettled (compared to 31% of their older counterparts).  

There are likely a number of realities contributing to this anxiety, not the least of which is the fact that almost 900,000 Coloradans working for private companies are not participating in a retirement plan at work. Moreover, 80% of that number—or about 754,000—work for an employer that does not offer any type of retirement plan.

That’s pretty heavy stuff, and we sort of just laid it all on you (sorry about that). But, that’s why campaigns like America Saves Week—as well as resources like The Dime—exist in the first place: to arm you with a knowledge base that will empower you to make the best decisions regarding your financial security now and in the future. Chances are that these findings by NIRS don’t come as a complete surprise to you, either; in fact, they probably reconfirm that you’re not alone in whatever misgivings you have about life after work. (Yes, that does exist…even if it feels super far away right now.)

So this knowledge that you’re not alone is great and all, but what can a proactive kid such as yourself DO in the meantime?

Lucky for you, we’ve got a wealth of information about all aspects of saving for retirement—the myths, the considerations, and even the Jedi mind tricks to help reframe your thinking about your future needs (and thus, jumpstart your planning). Speaking of reframing, how’s this food for thought: in that same statewide survey, NIRS also found that younger Coloradans are willing to save at higher levels than their older counterparts, with 44% indicating that they plan to save at least 5% more than they’re saving now to help improve their retirement prospects (compared to 26% of those closer to retirement). For all of the anxiety our fellow millennials might be feeling about the future, one thing is certain: it hasn't become an excuse to stand by and do nothing. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider that whole “lost retirement generation” assumption.

Are you inspired to start (or revisit) your plans around saving for retirement? Check out this small sampling of our other blogs on the topic: