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Holy Fat Retirement, Batman!

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As VP of Brand + Creative for Ubiquity, Sylvia is a creatively driven entrepreneur with an unprecedented passion for the written word. With over 22 years in marketing and advertising and titles ranging from Director to CMO, Sylvia has worked with mega giants including Intel, Microsoft, IGN Entertainment, Activision, and Apple. She has also worked on projects with Jack Johnson, Mariah Carey, Denise Richards and YMCMB’s Lil’ Wayne and Birdman. Most recently, Sylvia co-produced Broken Eggs, the hard-hitting, feature-length documentary about the looming retirement crisis in America.

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August 27, 2013 at 10:00 am
Personal Finance

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Retirement? What retirement? Send up the Bat signal!

Millions of Americans aren’t saving, or at least, aren’t saving enough. Here are three simple reasons why.

1. We don’t know how and education is widely to blame. As in, there is none.

2. Retirement savings tools are not available to us in the work place. In fact, 1 in 3 workers aren’t saving anything at all.

3. We feel we can’t afford to save. When living paycheck to paycheck, how can you spare another dime for the future?

Let’s go through these one by one.

Education. Our industry makes it hard, by keeping people at arms length; “don’t worry about the details, we know what’s best, just hand over your hard earned money, and by the way, don’t read the fine fee related print.

Want to know the basics or have questions? Just ask @Coolest401kGuy Andrew Meadows. He’ll demystify the how-to’s of retirement and get you excited about the possibilities of saving your future self!

Access. Here’s the thing: if you are an employer, it’s a legal way to reduce taxes. Isn’t that something that every business owner needs?

And if you are an employee who wants to take the bull by the horns, you can! It’s called a Saver(k) plan and there is no employer required!

Now let’s tackle the “can’t afford to save” issue. I thought the same thing, by the way. It took me some time to take the leap onto the super charged galactic bandwagon, and when I did, here’s what I discovered.

I started contributing 4% of my paycheck, because my company had a 4% match, and I like free money. Also, I had to stop neglecting my future self and my retirement!

Here’s what happened with that 4%. I didn’t see any impact to my paycheck, as in nada. So, that made me want to increase my contribution. I first went to 5%. Again, no real noticeable impact. Then I took the leap to 10%. Then to 15%.

Want to know what the impact was?

It was MORE cash in my pocket because the 15% comes out pre-tax. So my taxable income was lower. I was saving more for my retirement. And I was taking home a bigger paycheck.

Holy fat retirement account, Batman! It looks like I won’t have to work until I’m dead after all!

And neither do you. We don’t live in a world of the three-legged stool any longer. Pensions are no longer widely accessible, and if you’ve been watching the news, you know that even if you’ve got one, you may not see a dime of it. As for social security, it’s outlook is dire, bankrupt in fact.

So guess what? We are now in the age of personal responsibility. And you owe it to your future self to take a hard look at how you’re going to take control.

When do you want to retire? More over, how can I help?

Stop procrastinating and get saving!

Sylvia, aka DebtGirl

PS. Everyone knows someone who needs a retirement plan. All you have to do is As(k)! In the process, you can make some cash on the side. Is there a downside to that? I submit there is not!

PSS. Need some retirement inspiration? Read @MomFanciesParis’s latest blog post, “I would like to live _____ when I retire.”