When it comes to saving money, there
are two types of people -- those who save and those
who wish they were saving.
Unfortunately, "saving is simply
not part of most people's behavior pattern," says
Frank Congemi, a Deerfield Beach, Fla., registered financial
gerontologist and investment adviser who helps clients
with retirement planning. With the rate of personal
saving now at record low levels in the U.S., it's a
good time for those who know they should be saving to
think about why it's a good thing to make do with less
now, so you've got more later.
|It's not just about
money -- it's about what the money can do
for you, your family and others. Here are
nine top vote-getters:
1. Desire to retire.
"Retirement is what I call a long term, long term
goal," says Congemi, who likens it to a game of
musical chairs: It's somewhere out in the future and
all too few think much about it until it's too late.
"You run around in circles and when you go to sit
down, you're out."
Peter J. D'Arruda, a financial educator,
author of "Financial
Safari" and president of Capital Tax Advisory
Group in Cary, N.C., agrees.
"Retirement is always something that
happens to the old people next door. I see people spend
more on their yard every year than they save for retirement.
Priorities are out of whack a little bit," he says.
A 2005 Hewitt Associates survey report,
"Your Future Financial Security," found that
even those participating in company retirement plans
believe they should be saving more: The ideal, according
to those age 59½ or older, is 19 percent of their
income, and those younger see 15 percent as the ideal.
But actual savings is far below that, with the older
group saving 10 percent of their incomes for retirement
and the younger group 6 percent.
Are you saving as much as you can? Take
a does-it-hurt test -- make sure it hurts a little bit,
says investment expert Jeff Harris, co-founder of The
Family Legacy Forum, an organization that helps
families handle the emotional and psychological aspects
There's a train wreck ahead.
One thing certain about the future is its uncertainty
and in an uncertain market the mantra is: Start early,
That murky future, combined with low savings rates and the continual decline in the number of employers that offer defined benefit pension plans has financial advisers worried about what will happen to the masses. "My sense is they're going to be woefully unprepared for their future," says Harris.