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In just a couple of days, you’ll gather around the dinner table with extended family for the first big holiday of the season. And as much as you look forward to carving the turkey and digging into the cranberry sauce, awkward conversations with relatives you hardly ever see can put a damper on the occasion. You know what we’re talking about: “So, anyone special in your life?” “When are you planning to have kids?” “If you’re looking for some extra income, I’ve got a great opportunity for you!”
It takes a certain amount of grace to field questions and comments like these between bites of pumpkin pie, so we thought we’d help you prepare for at least one topic that’s bound to come up: bad retirement savings advice. We asked some of Dave’s Facebook followers to tell us the worst advice they’d ever heard about planning for the future so we could pass it along to you. Think of it as practice for the real thing this holiday season.
You’re Too Young—Er—Old to Save For Retirement
“I was once told I’m too young for a retirement account,” Eleanor S. said. Nicholas S. received similar advice and was told to enjoy his money while he’s young. “I get it,” Nicholas said. “I’m 26, and it’s not cool to be budgeting and planning for my retirement already. I just let them know not to beg me for money when they need it.”
Actually, an early start is key to building up enough savings for a comfortable retirement. The sooner you start, the more compound interest works in your favor. Putting off retirement savings by just a few years can make a million-dollar difference in your nest egg!
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On the flip side of the age coin, you’ll find folks who say they’ve missed the retirement savings boat. “It’s too late to start saving for retirement,” someone once told Becky M. At the time, that person planned to work just 15 more years, but that’s not how things turned out. “Twenty years later, they are still working because they didn’t save,” Becky told us.
It’s never too late to start saving for retirement. A focused plan can make a big difference in your retirement outlook in just a few years.
Stay Safe at All Costs
You’ve probably got plenty of well-meaning relatives who just want to you to play it safe in everything from the way you drive to the way you save for retirement. For example, Amy A. was told, “The best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.”
Elisha R.’s grandmother-in-law told her to bury her retirement fund “in $100 bills under the roses.”
“The stock market is basically gambling,” Sandi S. was told. “It will go up, but when it comes down, you lose everything.”
Advice like this comes from a fear of risk. While we’re the first to tell you to spend wisely and save up for emergencies, conservative mutual fund investing with a long-term outlook is still the most effective way to save for retirement. It’s not without risk, but neither is burying your money in the ground. Just a couple of years later, those $100 bills will be worth less than they were the day you planted them underneath the roses.
Don’t Worry—Someone Else Will Take Care of You When You Retire
Chris C. was told not to bother saving for retirement. “Why even plan for it? The government will take care of you,” was the advice he received.
“Your mom’s rich,” someone pointed out to Emily V. “Just wait until she croaks. Problem solved!”
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Or, how about, “Have a bunch of kids so they will take care of you,” as Steve W. was advised.
Don’t leave your retirement up to someone else. The fact is, your retirement is no one else’s responsibility—not the government’s, not your parents’ and not your kids’. “[I’m] working the Baby Steps with my husband, knowing that the only security we will have in life is the security that we provide for ourselves,” Emily said.
That is advice you can follow!
How About Some Retirement Advice You Can Use?
Clearly, bad advice is easy to get. Well-meaning friends and relatives will dish it out right along with the mashed potatoes and gravy.
But an experienced investing professional will give you retirement investing advice you can actually use. Whether you’re just starting to invest for retirement or you’ve been at it for years, a pro will help you build a fine-tuned retirement plan that takes into account how long you have to save.
And, it’s your investing advisor’s job to help you choose great mutual funds and teach you how the stock market’s ups and downs work together to build your nest egg. You’ll end up with a retirement plan that you can count on to provide for you when you reach your golden years.
If you’d like to talk to an advisor with the heart of a teacher like Dave recommends, we can put you in touch with a pro in your area today.