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Chances Are You WIll Live Long Enough to Be Broke

Chances Are You WIll Live Long Enough to Be Broke
Photo Credit: Rosie O’Beirne

I just read that the life expectancy for people in the United States and Canada continues to rise.

Chances Are You WIll Live Long Enough to Be Broke

Seems like a real blessing, doesn’t it. We get to live a longer life. But how are we going to afford medical care and to feed ourselves if life far exceeds our ability to work and earn?

Unless we save sufficient funds during our working years, we won’t have enough money to properly care and feed ourselves when we get older. Hey, I’m in the same boat as well.

During this past economic downturn many people have been raiding their retirement funds to help make ends meet.

Loans from retirement funds jumped 20 percent last year. This really can’t be a big surprise to many. Faced with difficult financial decisions people will tend to gravitate towards the oath that seems easiest and less painful immediately. – Source

What are we to do, not paint the house, not fix the car, not have any fun at all? In that case retirement is morphing from the years in which we enjoy the fruits of our labors and saving to one where we simply budget what little money we have and prepare to die without the need for medical care.

Gone are the days of a company pension to give you income and worries that Social Security will vanish or be significantly depleted are real as well. If changes are not made to Social Security by 2036 there will only be enough money to pay 77% of scheduled benefits. In 2036 I’ll be 77 years old.

Imagine if I worked at a job that required me engage in a significant amount of manual labor. At 77 years old how would I ever be able to work on a landscaping crew or work a full shift in a factory? What would I do, work at some fast food establishment? But even then I’ve noticed that there are fewer older people working at fast food places as it seem younger people are pushing them out of even those jobs.

I’ve scared the hell out of myself just writing this.

If You Are in Deep Debt, You Must Act Now

If you are in deep debt and you are older than 40 then time is not on your side. While you may want to do everything you can to work your way out of this hole over the next decade, if you don’t take action to resolve your debt situation within 12-24 months it’s quite possible it will have a very negative impact on your retirement.

Every month that goes by that you don’t save for retirement is a compounded month you’ve lost to avoid a financial catastrophe (thank you spellcheck for changing that to “cat atrophy”) when you can least afford it.

I think there is a very logical argument to be made that if you are struggling with unmanageable debt today a consumer bankruptcy now that allows you to get back to saving again makes complete sense in the face of otherwise retiring with little to no income of your own.

Chances Are You WIll Live Long Enough to Be Broke
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Sean H

    I’m glad I read this article. I’m only 24 and have a good habit of saving but with the cost of everything going up things look a little bleak it seems. Thanks Steve for the advice. Saving More Program is a GO!!!

  • Jeff

    Luckily I have not hit that 40 year old mark yet. :) Time is on my side right?

  • Cheryl6075

    You just have to put one foot in front of the other and hope life turns out.  Luck has a lot to do with it.

  • Sweeney Writes

    I am 48 years old and will pay US student loans for 25 years at 6.8 interest. That will be 505.00 per month. I earn 60 K per year and try to do extra jobs on the side since I teach school and have 18 years experience. Will 500 dollars be a lot of money to pay in 10 years, and should I take action in a will to make certain that the government doesn’t take my children’s meager inheritance, if there’s anything left? 

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