Every paycheck, you may see a line item reducing your net pay titled pre-tax 401k. If you are making a ROTH 401k contribution, that net pay looks even lower. If eligible, you may be contributing to an IRA, a ROTH IRA, or a HSA. You may be adding money to a 529 plan for your childrenâ€™s college education. You may be doing savings into a brokerage or bank account for short-term goals, a business acquisition, and/or for retirement. You see Social Security and Medicare tax being withheld from your paycheck, and you comply because you must while wondering if those programs will provide any benefit to you when you reach age of eligibility. On the spending side, you may be making sacrifices to provide for the savings level you have committed to.
If you are doing retirement savings while balancing current spending and other savings goals, I have noted the following about you:
1. You have developed great financial habits, including paying yourself first.
2. You focus on what you can control and you do so.
3. You are willing to sacrifice current utility for future security.
4. You think big picture and are goal-oriented.
5. You have defined what success looks like for you with intention and that definition lies outside of acquiring excess material things. What if the amount of your income you are saving for retirement were available for current spending? That might feel fun today but you know it would hurt down the road.
6. You are disciplined.
7. You are able to turn your attention inward and focus on what you need to do for your family to achieve financial security and peace-of-mind. You can shut out the noise.
8. If you were to lose your life or become disabled, you have a solid plan and would be able to ease the financial burden your family would feel.
9. You appreciate that funding a retirement goal, perhaps decades of no earned income, takes preparation, care, diligence, and sacrifice. And you are doing it.
10. You realize the value of time in many ways â€“ you realize how quickly it can pass and what losing that time means.
So accumulators to any degree looking around wondering if it is worth it, feeling perhaps a little stuck in the middle and tired, perhaps outwardly materially looking like you are falling short - stay the course. Define success not by the acquisition of excess material things, but by wonder, wisdom and your well-being. And while doing so, you will continue to secure your future.