Working to death?

Why retiring at 65 might not be in the cards


I am usually one to speak in optimistic tones and to offer you encouragement.  Today, however, I am offering a warning — if you want to retire, you HAVE to get to saving.  Granted, some of us really like working and want to stay in the workforce because, plainly, they enjoy what they do.  However, for a number of us, it comes down to one thing — money. The Motley Fool lays it out in stark terms:

A big reason why so many Americans are coming to terms with the idea of working longer is that they know they’re so blatantly behind on savings. In fact, an estimated one-third of Americans have no retirement savings whatsoever. And while older Americans who neglected their savings may have a harder time catching up, if you’re relatively young and still have a few decades in the workforce ahead of you, it’s not too late to change your fate — but you do need to start now.

They also provide a graphic showing what you expect monthly at age 65, over 20 years, by saving $200/month (assuming an 8% annual return).


So, assuming no other savings, this is what your financial picture might be, in addition to any Social Security benefits you might receive.

Now, go back to this statement: “an estimated one-third of Americans have no retirement savings whatsoever.”  This tells me that we can only expect that many more of us will be staying in the workforce not because we want to but because we have to.

This means, simply, that you need to have something in savings.  It could be a 401k/403b, a Roth IRA or some other savings/investment vehicle.  The truth is that time marches on and, if we are so blessed, we are going to live long lives.  How we plan now will determine just how enjoyable they’ll be.  Otherwise, we could be working ourselves to death.

Written by Myrtis Smith

African American. Female. Christian. Sometimes-Vegetarian.

Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend.

Writer. Teacher. Zumba Enthusiast.