Your retirement isn’t a three-legged stool — it’s a pogo stick.
Sorry, but it is what it is. Formerly, the three legs of the retirement funding stool for most Americans were:
1. An employer pension
2. Social Security
3. Personal savings
Preferably in private, go ahead and curse the members of society whom you blame. Pick a Congressperson or two — even a President; the current one or any of his predecessors. Why limit yourself to politicians? Pick a corporation that dissatisfies you because of its irresponsible behavior, its failure to follow through on its promises to its employees.
When you are done with your ranting, you need to go on to the next phase: to start dealing with it. This is your reality. Your personal savings are going to be the primary source of your financial independence; your money to live on during retirement.
Your screaming may feel good, but your best bet is to begin treating those other two legs (the employer-paid pension and Social Security) as though they are not going to be major factors in your retirement. Treat them, at best, as «gravy.»
With only leg of the three-legged stool remaining, you don’t need to be a physics teacher to understand that such a stool is not going to be a comfortable place to sit down.
Taken together, this means you need to turbo-charge your pogo stick. And that means choosing to live a life Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck.
By accepting the fact that you’re on your own, you’re forced to act more responsibly. After all, denial isn’t much of a way to go through life. Take advantage of your youth and build your savings to a turbo-charged pogo-stick level. A pogo stick is much more fun than a boring old stool anyway.