Are You Saving For Retirement?

I got my first job when I was 17 years old at Publix Supermarkets as a cashier. I was a senior in high school, and felt it was time for me to start making my own money. My parents had always provided me with what I needed to get by. But when I made the decision that I like being able to pay for own gas or buy the hottest sneakers, I got a job.

There was a lot I didn't understand when I was first hired on. I had to fill out a W-2. I had to sign paperwork about insurance, and other benefits including retirement. I remember turning to my mother and asking, "What in the world is a 401K?"

Yes. I didn't know what it was. It wasn't something that was explained in my economics class. It was never explained because it never presented itself as relevant until that very moment. So when my mom explained that it was a way to save for retirement and that money will be taken from my check to go towards it, I thought hell no. I don't need that. I want my money.

Now, I'm very big on saving and putting aside money, but the younger me wanted all the money I was supposed to get. Especially when I was only making $6.50/hour. It didn't seem necessary to save for something that I won't need until I am 67. That just seemed so far off. I gladly declined that checkbox and enjoyed purchasing my Willie D's.

I didn't start to think about retirement until I was 25. I had been working with this Market Research company for well over two years, and that time of the year rolled around to renew employee benefits. I looked at my current benefits where I only used the minimal insurance plan and looked at what was now being offered and changing. That's when it really hit me that I'm getting older and should care about my benefits. I wanted to know how much they'd match me. I wanted to know how much would my co-pay and deductible be. I wanted to understand what I would be signing up for because...I was finally at a place where it was relevant.

When I was hired with this company, I was in the same mindset as I was when I got my first job. "I'm trying to save to get my own apartment. I don't need them taking extra money from me." I play that out in my head now and realize how silly it sounds. It's not taking money from me. It's saving money for my future.

But the sad part is that there are so many youngsters (and maybe even older) that are thinking this way. If I knew then what I know now, I would have began that retirment savings when I first started working. I just keep thinking about how many paychecks I have received, and how much opportunities I have had to invest in my retirement. I feel that I have so much catching up to do.

I have seen folks that are retired, struggle primarily because their retirement wasn't thought out. I don't want that to be my life. I wish I had taken it more seriously earlier on instead of waiting until later. Sure, I have much more years in this work field to go. But just imagine the several others that are as unaware as I am. Think about it?

Just because you're 67, it doesn't mean everything stops. You still have bills to pay for. You still have groceries you'd need to buy. You still have a life in which nothing is for free. How do you intend to pay for those things?

Social security? OK, but will that be enough to cover your day to day expenses? Thinking this way definitely was an eye opener and helped me to realize that saving for retirement is essential.

Do you have a 401K?


  1. I am having this discussion with my 20/22 year olds as we speak. I've learned so much about money due to past mistakes and I'm trying to keep them from making the same mistakes. Thank you for sharing.

  2. As a 21 year old and recent I appreciate this post and I realized the importance of saving to avoid situations that can be prevented down the road.

  3. Hindsight is always 20/20. Good post on preparing and looking ahead. Better to be safe than regretful when it comes to saving.

  4. Here we have RRSP, registered retirement savings plan, and a fairly new retirement bank account called a Tax Free Account. RRSP's are a tax refund on one's annual taxes but you pay tax when you take out the money and a Tax Free Account, there is no tax refund on annual taxes but there is never a tax on the money when you take it out. I feel it is important to have a combination of both. I recommend that folks start as soon as they have an income of any sort, even a small amount will add up over time.

  5. It's so important to start saving when you're young. It's actually the best time to save for retirment. You have less expenses and that money will have the most earning potential through the years!