An article in USA Today paints an not very rosey picture for GenX’s retirement prospects. It specfically, points out that GenX, as per usual, we have an even tougher time of it than the Boomers. And, as GenXer, I can only imagine that Millennials will have it easier. Such is our lot in life.
I suppose that it makese sense that people are just starting to talk about this issue now, but I’ve had it on my radar, more or less, since I was young. Of course, that may have something to do with having very frugal Silent Generation parents who both grew up in small coal mine town in West Virginia during The Depression. My father raised me to believe that you should not count on the government to take care of you. Social Security is not going to cut it.
Of course, I can’t help wondering how many of my cohort have troubles living within their means. I realize that many people have massive student loan debt but it has always been my impression that many GenXers are not good at saving their money or thinking about their personal finances in general. I no that I don’t like to think about, but I certainly try to, especially now that I am a parent. It is unavoidable.
My main approach is to save as much a possible in any way that you can, even if all that means is saving change in a coffee can until it is full enough to make a desposit in the bank or whatever. Additionally, do not let debt, especially credit card debt build up. Pay it off as quickly as you can. And if it does build up STOP USING YOUR FUCKING CREDIT CARD!!!! Do whatever you have to to make this happen. I know someone who actually froze their credit cards in ice so that they would be forced to think about any purchase that they were considering. It seemed to work.
One credit card is enough for anyone. And really you should only use it in emergencies. My parents got me a credit card in my early twenties. It had about a $300 limit and I was responsible for paying it off. That’s how I learned to use it only when necessary.
All you really need is food, shelter and clothing. Anytime you find youself thinking that you need to see a movie or need to have a brand new car or you need to go on vactaion. Rememeber: all you need is food shelter and clothing. Everything else is just gravy.
Okay. So maybe there’s more to my approach than I first thought. But I suppose that is because it seems like common sense. So either I am wrong or there are lot of people out there unable, though more likely unwilling to exercise common sense.
Anyhoo… nevermind my ranting. Check the article. It’s worthwhile. And that’s saying some for a rag like USA Today.