Retirement savings not catching up with improving economy
Even with the need to save for retirement, Simon thinks the economy has been holding many people back from doing it. But he says the bigger problems are attitude and priorities.
Paying self first
"Starting when we are children, we are not taught to pay ourselves first and to put money away for ourselves and put ourselves at the top of our payroll," Simon says. "We spend without looking at the consequences or taking responsibility for our actions."
Simon says his daughter just turned 17 and now has a driver's license. This means he is dealing with the added expenses of helping to buy a car and paying for car insurance. But this doesn't mean cutting back on retirement saving. When his clients bring up similar circumstances as an excuse for putting less in a 401(k), he tells them to continue following their retirement goals.
"Maybe it means not providing a car at this point," he says. "Sometimes as human beings and as parents, we have to say no. We may need to share the truth that we may not be able to afford things like a week-long vacation or a trip to Disneyland."
Bankrate's survey found that having more money doesn't translate into saving more. Twenty-one percent of upper-middle-income households are saving less for retirement and only 14 percent are saving more.
Bentz, however, says he learned about catch-up contributions last year and makes the maximum contribution he can to his savings plan.
"In my case," Bentz says, "if you want to retire at 65, you better put it in now."
He also says he strongly encourages his younger employees to contribute as much as they can to retirement while they are young so the interest can compound over the decades.
And, presumably, they should avoid red sports cars as well.
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