Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

Retirement savings goals

Yesterday I saw this tweet of jean Chatzky's: 

Upon reading the tweet, I actually felt pretty good. I turn 30 next month, and in solid humble-brag fashion I can say the goal of having 1x annual income saved for retirement is of no issue. Ramit Sethi's book on personal finance taught me the ropes back when I started working full-time. Saving for retirement isn't a chore - it became automatic. I don't think about it at all.  

However, judging by the replies to the tweet, I guess I'm an uncommon case amongst my peers? The responses were full of millennials lamenting their financial misfortunes, being burdened with the likes of student loans, outrageous housing costs, and stagnant wages. Plenty of avocado toasts and 10 dollar lattes jokes were mixed in there as well. Lots of excuses given on why people don't have the appropriate amount of retirement savings, if at all. 

While I don't doubt the veracity of these people's situations, I question their defeatist/victim attitude.  

Let's all agree that saving for retirement is important, no? Barring any natural disasters or nuclear holocausts, our generation should live quite a long time beyond the current 65 year retirement age. Having enough money to sustain a suitable lifestyle is going to take some time accumulating, and people should start as early as possible.

For sure external circumstances have made it difficult for millennials to find jobs and save. However, complaining about the situation - as in the tweet's replies - isn't going to do anything positive. Is the government (or some other macro entity) going to suddenly forgive all student loan debt, build massive amounts of affordable housing, and provide people a better paying job? Of course not. It's all up to you, the individual person, to fight for what you desire, and in doing so save for retirement. 

Don't we often joke that Social Security won't be there by the time us millennials reach our autumn years? People can say how unrealistic those goals set by Chatzky are, but the fact remains you still have to save. If my family of four can do it on $1,500 per month income way back when, so can you.