As we mentioned in our post on Tuesday, this week marks National Retirement Security Week, a national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement, as well as provide us a chance to reflect on our personal retirement goals. Depending on where you stand on that front, it can be a tough pill to swallow—however, if you're worried about your retirement prospects, you're not alone. In a statewide survey conducted by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) in 2016, they found that 82% of our fellow 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 in the private sector are not participating in a retirement plan at work, with 80% of that number—or about 754,000—working 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 National Retirement Security Week—as well as resources like, ahem, us—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—they're not using it as 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 our other blogs on the topic:
- Retirement Planning 101: What to Do in Your 20s, 30s, and 40s
- Why I Made a Life Plan, Not a Retirement Plan
- The Real Risk in Retirement Savings
- Retirement Savings: How Big Is the Shortfall?
- Retirement Savings: What’s Needed to Close the Income Gap?
- Saving for Retirement: Giving Yourself a Little Extra Cushion
- What Will Retirement Look Like for You?
- A Baby Boomer’s Retirement Through a Millennial’s Eyes