Spend Like a Drunken Sailor

There’s an old joke about the drunken sailor who was asked if he had a financial plan. Well, sure he said “I spend a third of my money on women, a third on drinking and the other third I spend foolishly”. While it’s meant to be a joke, unfortunately it describes how many people are caught up living in the moment.

Retirement: That Elusive Goal

The problem is that we will all grow old. Aches and pains in middle age become serious injuries in our golden years. While work was always a choice, as retirement age approaches many people can’t continue to work for health reasons. And many simply don’t want to work.

They’ve dreamed of retirement for a lifetime and want that lifestyle. Make no mistake retirement is a goal worth striving for, but without any effort the results will fall short of your expectations. Do you really want to lower your lifestyle in retirement?

Sow Today; Reap Tomorrow

Retirement PlanSo, where does the effort part come in? It’s really very simple. If you refuse to put money aside today for your future, money won’t magically appear for you when you get to that future. Money can grow, compound, increase and multiply if saved and invested wisely, and the longer you give those investments the better will be your results.

But let’s be realistic; zero savings won’t magically grow into a retirement nest egg. Living for the moment and satisfying your every want will never get you to a comfortable retirement.

Like most lessons in life, saving for retirement is usually learned in hindsight. We choose the path of least resistance and the greatest pleasure meaning few sacrifices and maximum gratification. To make matters worse, attempts to save and invest are usually met with criticism and mockery from your friends. Why? Because they’re too caught up in the drunken sailor lifestyle to understand a goal that’ twenty to thirty years into the future. It’s definitely a daunting challenge.

Daunting Challenge

Daunting yes, but not impossible with some discipline and willpower. It’s certainly possible to examine your finances, cut out some needless wants, and direct that money to you future. Once you begin the process you’ll find it’s quite easy to continue the savings. Maybe even increase the percentage as you receive a raise or bonus. Like many challenges the biggest hurdle is making the decision to begin.

Fun and Excitement

Living for the moment is fun and exciting. Unfortunately it can lead to a retirement with few choices, lower lifestyle, and unsatisfying sacrifices.
Wise people balance the need to have it all now with the need to set aside savings for a safe and secure future and the rule of thumb is to aim to save ten percent of your lifetime income. With willpower for most this goal is achievable.

Water BarrelThe BalanceIn my E-books (“Water Barrel” and “The Balance”) I discuss simple methods to live sensibly for today, take charge of your financial affairs, and invest safely for the long term. For more information please visit David Penna Amazon.

As always, I am not a qualified financial advisor. I just relate financial management to my own experience which may not resemble yours at all. Advice is frequently worth exactly what you paid for it. Most of mine came from expensive experiences.

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