Why Don’t We Save for Retirement Like We Should?

Person putting quarter into piggy bank

Why don’t we save for retirement like we should?

Odds are, if you’ve read any article or listened to any speaker discuss retirement savings, you’ve probably heard this saying: “The best day to start is today, even if you can only save a little.”

With a modest 6% annual return, you could double the amount you have saved just by starting to invest 10 years earlier. But you’ve probably heard this already too. You’ve more than likely learned about the power of compound interest, the importance of saving and why stashing away some cash in a coffee can isn’t exactly a sound retirement plan.

You know that saving for your future is the right thing to do – but so is working out, eating more veggies and spending less time scrolling Twitter – but knowing it’s the right thing to do doesn’t make it any easier to commit. The truth is that saving is tough, and it’s easy to put off the distant financial needs faced by Future You for the much more urgent needs faced by Present You.

So, what can you do to make saving easier?


Get emotional.

We’re frequently told that we need to be rational with our money and that emotions should never get involved. While this is often the case when it comes to setting our financial goals, it shouldn’t. Set goals that have a real, emotional foundation to them. Why? Because when we care about these goals, we work harder to make them happen. They feel more tangible, more real. It makes it easier to save when you are doing it to move out to the lake after retirement, to protect your family from financial worries after you’re gone or to go on that European backpacking trip you’ve always wanted. It’s a lot easier to save with these goals in mind rather than the generic “have $1,000,000 saved up by the time I’m 65 years old.”

Start with something, even if it’s not much.

Saving is a habit just like any other and stashing away a few dollars each month will help to build these habits. Think of it like working out – 20 minutes a day is still better than not working out at all. As time goes on, looking back on that nice nest egg you’re building up will help to increase your appetite for saving. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that Future You will magically have it all figured out five years from now. Take the first step of deciding that you want to be in control of your financial life right now, not to mention 10, 20, 30 and 40 years from now.

Remove yourself from the equation.

As you know, we are our own biggest roadblock when it comes to saving. That’s why you should automate what you can. Don’t make yourself decide to save every single month – decide once and make it automatic. After you’ve made the decision to start saving, set up automated savings from each paycheck. Increasing your retirement contributions every year can often be automatic, and you should take advantage of this feature if it’s available to you.

Get help from an IRA and a trusted professional.

With the right plan and a little discipline, you can comfortably have the retirement you want. If you need to start your retirement savings, get started on the right foot with one of our Traditional, Simple, Roth and SEP Individual Retirement Accounts. Learn more here. We also have a full-service financial firm who will walk through the process with you to put together a unique plan so you’ll know exactly what you need to do to reach your specific retirement goals. Contact Ryan Ruth at 402.367.3177 to get started.


FIRST STATE FINANCIAL | Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors Inc., Ryan Ruth, Financial Advisor. First State Financial Services and Securities America are not affiliated. May Lose Value • Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • Not a Deposit • Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency