Adjusting Retirement Expectations

With social security’s future viability a toss-up and the average american undersaved, retirement expectations may need to be adjusted. As the shift from defined benefit plans moved to defined contribution plans, employees began to bear the responsibility for their future, often with a lack of education on the topic. This brings us to today.

Those who have not prepared as well as necessary to maintain a similar lifestyle in retirement have likely moved along the risk curve to improve yield on their investments, yet they have taken on more risk, which, at their stage of life can deliver devastating results. As Jon Acuff wrote in Finish, one reason why so many people fail to finish is because their goals are too large. He goes on “Remember, we’re up against quitting. The options we’re talking about right now aren’t: 1. Finish perfectly, or 2. Cut the goal in half. Those aren’t the choices we’re debating. The options are: 1. Quit the goal because it was too big, or 2. Cut it in half and finish it.”

Acuff makes a fair point in saying that goals are a marathon and not a sprint; this is evident as people are working longer. What is more difficult is nipping this mindset in the bud. Finding a way to make saving a mandatory activity that cannot be meddled with. Seems simple. Anyways, when it comes to life after work I believe that it is fair to assume that many people need to cut their goal in half, at least those who have time to spare, so that they do not see in as a mountain to climb, but rather a path to lead them to a better destination. This will make it seem more attainable and as Acuff has proven, will lead to better results. As noted in the book, getting started is important, but finding a way to finish is paramount. Lowering expectations may the way to go about it.