5 Reasons Why You Won’t Retire Rich

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated November 23, 2019

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Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Everybody wants to be rich, but few people are millionaires by the time they retire. In some ways that fact is surprising, especially when you calculate how much money people can earn over the course of their lives. Of course, retiring rich may be easier said than done. Here are five reasons why you won’t retire rich.

If you don’t save any of the money you earn, your net worth will never rise. Shockingly, the percentage of people who live from paycheck to paycheck and don’t save money is quite high – as much as 76 percent. That’s true even though almost everyone knows they are responsible for their own retirement.

The good news is that you can remedy the situation right now. Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account as soon as your paycheck hits the bank. To get into the habit of saving successfully without dipping into that savings account, you should start small. Every little bit will add up. If you can, save 10 percent of your income each month.

It doesn’t make any sense to clip coupons to save $5 on groceries when you overspend on housing. Housing is probably your biggest monthly expense. Nobody wants to live in a dump, but if you can’t afford your current lifestyle, you need to move out of the luxury apartment and into something more affordable, at least for now.

If you’ve purchased a house, you might find it more difficult to scale down. However, make sure you keep your housing costs to 25 percent of your net earnings. That will help you afford the things in life that make you happy and let you retire rich. You can also try to refinance your mortgage to get a better interest rate to save some money.

If you haven’t made saving for the future a priority, it’s obvious why you’re not going to retire rich. But it’s not just about putting money into a savings account. It’s also about what you do with the rest of your money. Do you use it to pay off debt, or do you keep buying new clothes you never wear or new electronics that go out of date tomorrow? Of course, there’s nothing wrong with splurging occasionally if your financial budget allows it. Yet does the way you spend money currently make you happy?

A lot of people are under-insured without really knowing why that could be a problem. However, not having health insurance, adequate home insurance, car insurance, life insurance and disability insurance could backfire. A difficult time of life will become endlessly more difficult by causing financial hardship without the proper insurance, whether the basement floods, you need an operation or you get into a major car accident. Don’t risk it.

Accumulating debt is easy. You might have car loans, mortgages, student loans, credit cards, payday loans and personal loans; there’s almost no limit to how much debt you can have. However, if you want to be able to save money for retirement and still have fun right now, you must reduce your debt spending. How much money would you save each month if you were debt-free?

In conclusion, there are several roads to riches, but certain factors can severely limit your ability to get there. Even if you earn minimum wage, you can create a financial cushion if you use debt wisely, save 10 percent of your income and prioritize your spending. After all, the secret to getting rich is to live below your means.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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