What's scarier than GHOULS, GOBLINS, WITCHES, and GHOSTS?
Not much is scarier than these things, but I have a few suggestions (Three to be exact).
Adam Harding, CFP / Smartvestor Pro
Spooky Thing #1:
Americans Do Not Have Enough Retirement Savings (Really)
A report earlier this year from the Government Accountability Office found that 48% of American households have NO RETIREMENT SAVINGS.
Forty. Eight. Percent. (queue "spooky music")
By "Retirement Savings", this report emphasized that it means savings specifically in retirement-type accounts --like IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, etc... Despite the nomenclature, it's clearly possible to save for "retirement" in an non-retirement account like a simple savings or individual brokerage account, so this study may not tell the whole story and Americans may be slightly better off with their savings, right?
Nope.... On to SPOOKY thing #2 for more on this.
Spooky Thing #2:
Many Americans Can't Afford a $400 Emergency
Sorry folks, more scary news... Americans are not only bad at saving in retirement accounts, we're just bad at saving.
In recent years there have been different iterations of the same study, which has found that about 40% of Americans would have to sell something or go into debt to meet an unexpected $400 expense.
Four. Hundred. Dollars. (queue even spookier music here)
The article in the link above highlights income inequality and debt as a central reason why Americans struggle with saving. While this is certainly a contributing factor, the truth is this: We're bad at deferring gratification.
After all, 81% of Americans now own smartphones (which is up from 35% in 2011).... So it's really more about getting intentional about money.
The one piece of spooky good news: long-term financial security matters a lot less if you die early.
The bad news?:
THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING (see Spooky Thing #3)
SPOOKY THING #3:
Most People Will NEVER Die
Adam Harding, CFP®
Three SPOOKY Things: Halloween 2019
October 31, 2019