It’s a pretty typical story.
Person reaches a financial breaking point. Person begins to use frugality to cut back strongly on their expenses. Person pays down their debts and begins saving for the future. Person begins to feel a whole lot better about their financial state.
At that point, many people reach a crossroads. They begin to ask whether or not it makes sense to keep being so frugal. Once you have a healthy amount of savings or investments, is there really a reason to continue being so frugal?
Whenever I hear that question, it serves as a recognition to me that there are two ways to look at frugality.
Some people look at frugality as a tool. Frugality is something you choose to do to extract more money by doing things differently than you would normally do them. If you begin to feel like things are in a financially good place, it’s tempting to put that tool down and not “work” as much.
When it comes to saving, we aren’t doing enough of it.
Roughly half of Americans are saving 5% or less of their incomes, including 18% that are not saving anything, according to a survey from Bankrate. Only about a quarter of people are saving more than 10% of their earnings.
So how much should you be saving? Bankrate recommends 15%.
“Between emergency savings and the ever-increasing burden of retirement savings that is on the individual, the goal should be 15% of your income,” said Greg McBride, the personal finance website’s chief financial analyst.
Currently, one in seven people are saving more than 15%, the report showed.
In a perfect world you will have enough money set aside so that come retirement day you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You’re free to carry out your plans without the added stress of wondering whether or not you’ll have enough money to pay the bills. Unfortunately, most people don’t have this luxury. Instead, they come to the realization that they can’t afford to retire and end up spending the later years in their life unhappy because they have to either keep working or simply don’t have enough money to do any of the things they had hoped. Here are five reasons most people will retire broke and unhappy.