25 Excuses For Not Saving For Retirement

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Not saving for retirement? Need a good excuse why? Not to worry – here are some 25 ideas for you, all for free!

1. I’m young, I need to enjoy life.
2. I’m too old, it’s too late for me.
3. I’m scared of money. It’s too complicated.
4. It’s all the credit card company’s fault.
5. Interest rates are still pretty low. Borrow now!
6. I don’t have enough time in the day.
7. I have to pay for my kid’s college.

8. I can’t afford it, I’m broke.
9. I make tons of money, I can stop spending whenever I want.
10. The stock market is a scam.
11. I’m going to win the lottery instead.
12. I’ll just work forever.
13. I need to pay off my leased BMW/Benz/Jag first.
14. Corporate America is evil and they brainwashed me.
15. It’s my wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/dog’s fault.
16. Those bill collectors will never catch me.
17. My mom/dad/uncle/aunt will leave me money when they croak.
18. I’m moving to Mexico. It’s cheaper there.
19. I’ll just file for bankruptcy when I hit rock bottom.
20. The dog ate my Roth IRA application.
21. I’ll probably die before I retire anyways.
22. My company doesn’t match their 401(k) enough. It’s their fault.
23. Spending money on shoes and gadgets makes me happy.
24. Did I mention that I’m still young?
25. Taxes are too high. It’s all the government’s fault.

Thanks to all my former co-workers that have supplied many of these. Please feel free to provide your own. I hope to build this into the #1 Excuse Resource on the net for this growth industry.

(End sarcasm)

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  1. I hear the “I’m still young”, “I can’t afford it” and “I’ll probably die before I retire” excuses the most.

  2. What about the ever vague “I want to enjoy my life?” or “What if I need that money tomorrow?”

  3. “What if I need that money tomorrow?”

    That’s a good one. I think “I want to enjoy my life?” can be wrapped up in #1. Young is all relative. There are 55-year olds who think they are too young to worry.

    Then there are 27-year olds who blog about retirement on their Monday nights. =(

  4. I have a decent retirement plan… I’m going to marry rich

  5. “Money is for spending”

    “There is no social security crisis”

    “The stock market is going to crash anyway, you’ll be in the same boat that I’m in.”

    “The powers that be will support me.”

    “I’ll make more money in a few years, I can think about all of this then.”

    “My home will appreciate 1,000,000,000%. When I retire, I’ll sell it, move to a condo and live on the profits.”

    “HELOC Baby. O yeah.”

    “We’re all going to eat cat food when we retire. The sooner you except that the better off you’ll be.”

    “I should use my money now to fulfill all of my dreams because when I’m old those dreams it will be too late. You only have dreams for so long, but you can always make more money.”

    “My kid’s going to be a star. When I retire, I’ll be their manager and take 40% off the top.”

  6. Excellent!

    “Armageddon will come, and all human inventions like ‘money’ and ‘retirement’ will disappear soon.”

    Marry rich… gotta look into that one 😉

  7. academia actually lends some support to statements such as “I’m young, I need to enjoy life.” franco modigiliani?s life-cycle hypothesis (LCH) assumes that people have some expectation of what their income will be over their lifetime (e.g. low in the early years, peaking in the middle years, and falling in the late years). LCH also assumes people would prefer a relatively constant consumption level over their lifetimes, rather than feast in one year, and starve in the next. the conclusion of the life-cycle hypothesis is that keeping an average consumption level over your lifetime would call for young people to spend every dollar they made, if not borrow some to consume a little better than their current income, and then maintain that level of consumption even as their income increased in the middle years. See the first page of this link for a graph.

  8. My two favorites:

    * Why should I save for retirement? That’s what Social Security is for.

    * My kids will take care of me.

  9. A german politician once told us:
    “Your pensions are safe!”
    So, there is no need to save for retirement… at least in Germany.

  10. Seriously, though, what if you are saving in other ways? My husband & I haven’t saved a lot for retirement lately but are on track to pay off our mortgage about 20 years early…

  11. I have heard, “the brokerage sent me too much paperwork and I just never got around to it”

  12. money blog says

    haha “21. I’ll probably die before I retire anyways.” hearing this for the first time

  13. On a serious note – in this economy interest rates are crap, and the feds stated they will stay crap until 2014. Wouldn’t it make much more sense to pay off that 30 year mortgage with monthly pre-payments, and on top of that dump the max allowable IRA contributions into your house? While everyone else has their Roth IRAs gaining a 0.42% APY rate, you would have your 30 year mortgage loan paid off in about 8 years and save almost half of your loan’s total value in interest. For example, a $118k mortgage w/ $800/mo pre-payments would save $60,885 in interest.

    Unless you have a million dollars stocked away in a retirement fund, there is no way in hell anyone is going to be making $61k in interest on their retirement accounts over the next 8 years – so the “opportunity cost” factor is almost invalid.

    Quite honestly, I’d rather pay off that mortgage as fast as humanly possible – because home equity follows you into retirement. Not only does it follow you, but once you don’t have to make monthly payments anywhere else, you can put ALL your income into retirement savings and maybe following my above schedule, in 8 years savings interest rates may start to rise above 3% again.

  14. mattsfactor says

    Unfortunately, excuses are the worst enemy for our actions, not only when it comes to saving for retired. A lot of people that I know just afraid to take any action involving a challenge. Make the first step in the implementation of our plans seem difficult, but later is getting easier.

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