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No retirement savings? I hope this is not you. But if it is, who’s to blame?
I read a mind-boggling article a few days ago, and I’ll share it with you shortly. But first, one truly alarming statistic regarding saving money:
1 in 3 people in the U.S. have saved less than $5000
Read that again a few times and really think about it. 1 in 3 people in the U.S. have hardly any savings, yet the unemployment rate is lower than its been for many years. That means that people are certainly working and earning money. But why aren’t they saving?
I know, scary….huh?
Why No Retirement Savings?
Well, that statistic I mentioned above is certainly mind boggling enough. What’s even more mind boggling are the findings of some research that has been done on the subject of saving. And the findings of the research suggests that we can possibly blame this issue of having no retirement savings on ourselves. Well, that sounds silly, I know. Of course we have to blame it on ourselves. We’re the ones that failed to save, so that makes it our fault.
And just to be clear, the research did not specifically mention no retirement savings, just no savings in general.
What the research is actually suggesting is that we lay the blame, to some degree, on bias inside our brain.
Hmmm, strange idea, don’t you think?
Apparently, the Choice Is Ours
The research shows that even when we have an equal opportunity to either earn or save, we show a tendency to earn first and save later. That’s where that brain bias thing comes into play.
You can read the entire article that talks about the research and the experiments done here. I personally found the experiments that were conducted to be quite interesting.
One solution put forth in the article for overcoming this brain bias was to focus more on the present rather than the future. In other words, focus on saving now in the present rather than deciding that its only your future self that will need the savings.
While that does sound like a great idea if you’re still relatively young, what about older people who are facing retirement now or soon? How do they address the problem of no retirement savings?
If you find yourself in the precarious situation of having no retirement savings, it may be time to enter the reinvention dimension. And honestly, this advice is not just for the over 50 crowd. Even if you’re younger and don’t think you’re earning enough to fulfill your financial requirements later on …it may be time to add some side gigs.
Alot of folks are turning to alternative methods of “bringing home the bacon” than just having a traditional job. Even after retirement from a longtime job or career, people are finding ways to “reinvent themselves” with a new way of making money. What are they doing?
For the most part, they are freelancing or starting businesses.
Entrepreneur published this article in 2017 on 75 jobs you can do from home. And even though the title of that article does use the term jobs, many of the things on the list would be considered “self-employment” of some sort, so you would be freelancing or starting your own business. Some require a little geekiness, but not all of them.
One relatively common denominator of all of these opportunities? The internet. Alot of these businesses or freelancing opportunities can and are conducted entirely over the internet. If you want to start a side gig when you get older in order to bolster your financial situation, it’s likely that you’re going to need to be familiar with things like blogging, WordPress and online marketing. In other words, you’re going to have to be a bit internet savvy. Are you prepared?
Developing New Skill-Sets
The good news is, that it’s never too late to develop some new skills. So if you really do find yourself in the “No Retirement Savings” category, you’ll be able to learn some new skills and reinvent yourself.
An example of this would be learning to blog.
As I explained in my recent post “How To Start A Blog To Make Money (or Otherwise) in 2018”, I wish I had started blogging 30+ years ago! Although I’ve been blogging now for quite awhile, I would have been much further ahead had I started earlier. Learning how to blog has given me the skill-sets I need to not only start and maintain my own blog, but it has also left me with the opportunity to do an almost unlimited number of different types of side gigs based around the very same skills I use for blogging. So that gives me options.
So, the bottom line is, if you need to reinvent yourself….do it now. Don’t wait and wish you had done it years earlier. Do it now. If you’re interested in learning how to get started blogging, as well as learning alot of new skills that go along with it, I’ve outlined the easiest way to do that in this post – “How To Start A Blog To Make Money (or Otherwise) in 2018”.
If you’re really in the “no retirement savings” zone, then it’s time to get out of there and into the reinvention dimension! I hope these ideas will help you out. Leave me a comment if you have any questions about this concept and I’ll do my best to help you out.
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