Are you setting yourself up for self-sufficiency? Who do you rely on for survival? Do you know what you need to do today, to have ‘enough’ 20, 30, or 40 years from now?
If you’re planning on social security providing for you, like a mother’s milk provides for her baby, it’s time to start “feeding” yourself. Here’s the steps we have already taken, are currently taking, and will take, to ensure we aren’t dependent on the government to pay our bills…
No stupid debt:
I’m not as intense as Dave Ramsey. If you want to take out a 0% car loan, fine by me. But if you are up to your eyes in credit card (or other high interest debt), then you need to get your crap together and start working your way out. The path to financial success starts with paying yourself (not Sallie Mae) first.
A reasonable mortgage:
Do you know how long a 30 year mortgage takes to pay off? THIRTY FREAKIN’ YEARS! That’s insane. I’m not even 30 years old! I couldn’t imagine making a payment for three full decades. Girl Ninja and I have no clue what the terms of our mortgage will be, but I can promise you this, we aren’t going to buy more house than we can afford. Home ownership is still a year or more away, but our goal would be to keep our mortgage payment under 30ish% of our net income. I like the flexibility of a 30yr mortgage, especially since you can pay it down in 20, 15, or 5 years if you want.
This is where true government independence comes in. If you want to retire (aka not work anymore) you better start doing something about it. The Roth IRA and 401K are my investment vehicles of choice. By putting a few bucks away today, I plan to have a couple million waiting for me during my golden years. I don’t care how old you are, the time to start investing was yesterday. Get to it!
There are a few other things that consist of our financial commandments like living within our means or shopping around before we make a purchase, but I figured it’s best to bore you any longer. Moral of the story is this: If you are 50+, you will probably receive at least some social security benefits. If you are 50 (or younger) you may still receive some benefits, but it’s time to wean off the government teet and start feeding your bank accounts.
To those of you that are 50+, did you plan some of your retirement income around social security when you were younger?
To those that are 50 or under, are you banking on the fed financing your years in adult diapers?
Do you think there will be any social security programs when us 20-somethings retire?
What do you think the social security age will be 40 years from now?
p.s. I wrote this article one year ago and moved it to the front of the blog for relevant discussion today.