3 Reasons You’ll Never Be Able to Retire

If you dream of resting comfortably during your golden years and enjoying the fruit of your labor, you might have another thing coming. Unless you adequately prepare now, you’ll have a tough time making ends meet later on. Between medical bills, unexpected emergencies, and the rising cost of living, it would be prudent to do what you can now to save as much as possible for life after work. Here are some things you might be doing that could jeopardize your retirement.

1. You’re not saving enough

retirement label on jar filled with coins

Jar of Coins | iStock.com

Retirement money won’t just magically appear in your bank account. Sorry, the retirement fairy won’t leave bundles of cash under your pillow at night. You need to make some careful decisions over a period of time so that you can leave the workforce when you want. If you’re not putting away enough cash for retirement, you’re at a huge disadvantage. Not saving enough just about guarantees you’ll run out of money during retirement and need to go back to work. If you don’t want that to happen you need to plan ahead.

In order to figure out your retirement number, you’ll need to start by estimating your future monthly expenses and deciding how you plan to spend your golden years (for example, maybe you want to travel). If you haven’t done this yet, you have some company. Less than half of U.S. workers (48%) said they and/or their spouse have never attempted to calculate how much money they’ll need so they can live comfortably during retirement, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute survey.

2. You’re putting your kids’ college education first

Smiling student holding a book in library

Smiling college student | iStock.com

There are scholarships for college but there are no scholarships for retirement (but if you do happen to find a retirement scholarship, let us know). So if your kids need additional help with college tuition, tell them to work or take out a loan — or both. A little responsibility won’t hurt, so don’t put your retirement on the line. Your children have many resources available to them when it comes to college financing. Sure, you love your kids, but sacrificing retirement savings now will only make you a burden to them later. And the last thing you want is to have to depend heavily on your children in order to meet basic needs. Think carefully about your financial health before offering to help pay for your children’s college education. Your future could depend on it. 

3. You haven’t started saving

piggy bank with dollars

Cash and piggy bank | iStock.com

One reason you may have procrastinated is because you’re afraid. Don’t let fear get in the way of investing for retirement. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to live the life you imagine. If you start late, once you do get your plan in motion, it will take a lot more effort to save. You’ll need to save more money each month and stick to your savings plan. The older you get, the less time you have to let your money grow. Saving at 25 is a lot easier than saving at 45, so don’t delay.

Follow Sheiresa on Twitter and Facebook.

More from Money & Career Cheat Sheet: