Kimberly Diane Hall, Ed.D.
Axia College of University of Phoenix
Our entire lives, it seems we are working for something. Small goals turn into large goals. After graduating from high school, some have aspirations of a college degree, some want to become soldiers, and others have different types of trades in mind. Either way one goes in their career choice, everyone wants to end up on a beach in Florida, or traveling the world, comfortably retired. We all look forward to the days of midday naps, brunch with a retiree club, or golfing all day. This to us seems like the perfect life but there are steps you need to complete in order to meet these goals. Some of us think that putting our money into Social Security will be enough in the future, but the way our economy is going in this day and age, it is just not. Social Security might not even be around by the time people that are my age; around 25 years old become senior citizens. With this being said, in order to live that comfortable lifestyle we all dream of, we need to start saving money now for our futures. Times have changed, our economy has drastically changed, and we just can’t rely on the sources that our elders used to depend on because it is not logical. We need to take precautions for our future, now, so that we can live the life of happy retirees. My grandparents lived that life, a picture perfect, retired agenda. In order to end up like this we have to do things differently now, so that we can, not only be successful in our careers, but after. Because, unfortunately, there are so many that spend their last years, struggling, working, and poor. Yes our government gives seniors a monthly salary, Social Security, but it is not enough for the Golden Years. You cannot retire comfortably without investing for your future now. According to www.worldsalaries.org, the average salary in 2005 was $42,028. But the average monthly income of those receiving Social Security Benefits is $1,170 (Waggnor, 2010), which is only $14,040 a year. That is a massive difference. We should not work our entire lives to end up depending on poverty level income. Waggnor states in his article, “For 20% of married retirees and 40% of single retirees, Social Security is 90% or more of their income.” That’s a scary number. For example, my uncle, Frank Lopez, served 20 years in the Army, which was a very good accomplishment. He was making about $3,500 a month and his retirement check now is only about $1,500; his mortgage alone is $1,200 a month. He figured back then, when he retired, that his retirement check would take care of most of his expenses, not realizing how little he would receive without further investment. Now with the economy that we live in, he has realized that it is not enough because every expense has gone up significantly, so he had to get a job to barely get by. He is now working at Whataburger as a custodian close to 40 hours a week at the age of 55. He has said that he never, in a million years, would have expected this type of lifestyle after working so long as a soldier in the United States Air Force. This is proof of what can happen if you don’t save money and invest early in life. Investing is a must. It is not okay to put something like this off for now and worry about it later. It is apparent that we cannot afford to. There are many different ways to invest, it’s just really too easy not to. If we spend so much money to go to school and get a degree, then we can spend the same to make sure we can retire in comfort. A lot of companies offer retirement plans like a 401k. According to Merrium-Webster Online, a 401K is, “a retirement account to which employee and employer contribute, on which taxes are deferred until withdrawal, and for which the employee usually selects the types of investments”. If you decide to teach, they