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Students Get Curious About Retiring

“I thought I was going to live forever.”

“I would’ve probably put more money away for later years.”

“I was a stay-at-home mom for 17 years, and I didn’t realize that during those years I wasn’t working I wasn’t accruing Social Security.”

Millennials asked what it’s like to be retired, and seniors answered in this video produced by The New York Times.

The video’s point, it seems, is that it’s not natural for 20-somethings to think about old age at all. “Retirement wasn’t in my vocabulary,” as one senior recalled about being young.

That’s why young adults, as soon as they enter the work world, should force themselves to make friends with a concept far in their futures – and then act on it. And here’s why: saving is more important than it has ever been, because they will carry much more of the burden of financing their retirement than their parents and grandparents ever did.

Even young adults who are paying off student loans should, at minimum, contribute enough to their savings plan at work to qualify for their employer’s matching contribution. Those who don’t plan ahead face a reliance on Social Security’s eroding benefits when they’re in old age, benefits that are the absolute bedrock of our retirement system but not enough for most retirees to continue the standard of living they had while they were working.

If you need convincing, listen to these retirees talk about how difficult it is to live solely on Social Security in the video below produced by Squared Away in 2012:

The seniors interviewed in this next Squared Away video reinforce the importance of preparing for retirement, starting now:

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6 Responses to Students Get Curious About Retiring

  1. George says:

    Watching this videos was a total waste of time. How could you possibly think these videos would be helpful to anyone looking to the future about retirement?

  2. Bob Y. says:

    @George, I disagree. Although no new information is presented it gives a face to current seniors trying to live on fixed income. It does make you want to take a closer look at your retirement savings plan.

  3. Terry Reilly says:

    I mentor undergraduate business students at a major university. Several have commented how unprepared they are regarding personal finance, especially in structuring an investment plan for retirement.

    In this new era of underemployment and low salaries for college graduates, it’s incredibly important that twenty-somethings know how to start saving, even if only a tiny fraction.

  4. Murray Gendell says:

    Saving is essential. Students and workers (young and old) also need to learn about the great power of compound interest.

  5. Josh says:

    I also didn’t find these videos very convincing. Plus, simply telling younger people that they need to be saving for retirement hasn’t been a winning argument for years! If it had been, they wouldn’t have needed to make those videos.

    Millennials are more interested in location-independent and lifestyle working arrangements (in my, Millennial, opinion) and therefore the best way to convince them to save money is to educate them about financial independence. The “early retirement” movement is showing young people that they don’t have to be saving for retirement at 65 since they could be retiring in their 30s or 40s.

  6. Chris says:

    I agree with Josh. Telling younger people short little snippets of information isn’t a winning way of doing things.

    I’m a millennial and amongst my friends we do now talk a bit about pensions and virtually all of us have them. I think it’s far more productive for people to talk in their own age group about retirement. As opposed to someone who is already retired saying, “I wish I’d saved more.” That’s unlikely to give a 30-year-old the boot to kick into action.

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