Save for what? 6 savings objectives that may apply to you today
Most people understand that they should be saving for the future, but may lack a clear sense of what to be saving for and how. Here are the answers: Retirement. Even if you never want to retire, you should plan for the possibility that you will either
Most people understand that they should be saving for the future, but may lack a clear sense of what to be saving for and how. Here are the answers:
Even if you never want to retire, you should plan for the possibility that you will either change your mind or not have the option. If you live to be 102, do you really think you’ll still be working? Start saving for retirement using your 401k at work or an IRA at your bank or stock brokerage. This savings should be held sacred, never to be touched until retirement. Tax laws allow you to use these funds for a down payment on a home under some circumstances; be cautious with that! Leave room in your budget to continue saving for retirement.
You’ll want your children to attend college, to get the most out of their lives. It takes good grades, self-discipline and a shocking amount of money. Start saving for their college education as soon as they're born. You can get some small tax advantages by using 529 plans that protect the earnings in the accounts from taxes; check it out.
A new car
It certainly sounds a lot more fun to be saving for a car than for retirement. You can drive a car. If you buy a car with the value of your trade in combined with your savings rather than borrowing the money, driving the car will be a lot more fun. You don’t want to work for your car—that’s slavery. You want your car to work for you!
Can you imagine paying for a vacation five or ten years after you took it? That can’t be fun, but plenty of people do it when they put the vacation on a credit card. The vacation is over in seven days, but the misery of paying for it can last for years. If you save for a vacation instead, the trip will be more fun and there will be no financial hangover.
By saving money for a rainy day, separate from your new car and a vacation, you’ll protect those dreams. If you suddenly need a new transmission for the car, that could set back your plans to buy a new car by a year or more if you don’t have some rainy day money around. Optimally, your rainy day account would have enough to cover a year of expenses so it can cover an extended period of unemployment.
There is no reason on earth not to save up for other things you want, or for no reason at all. Having money will give you the power to do more good in the world. Keep saving!
Devin Thorpe, husband, father, author of Your Mark On The World and a popular guest speaker, is a Forbes Contributor. Building on a twenty-five year career in finance and entrepreneurship that included $500 million in completed transactions, he now champions social good full time, seeking to help others succeed in their efforts to make the world a better place.