Top Three Obstacles When Saving for Retirement (And What to Do About It)

You know you should save money for retirement starting as early in your career as possible. Before you know it, the weeks slip into years, and you are 40 or 50, with barely a resemblance of a retirement plan.

Here are the top three obstacles that stand in the way of retirement savings success:

  1. Adverse attitude to goal setting. Setting goals and sticking to them is hard work. You want a secure retirement but have not written out a plan of attack. Without the vision of what you want, you are resigned to whatever you have when work stops.
  2. Lack of spending controls. When you do not know where the money goes, you will not have extra at the end of the week. Controlling spending is part awareness of what you earn and owe, and part discipline, to eliminate impulse buys that sabotage long-term goals.
  3. Too far down the road. It is a challenge for many to plan a week of meals or a vacation six months away, let alone retirement 30 years in the distance. Then, the financial world tells you to save one million dollars to prevent a retirement in poverty, and you give up before you begin.

The principles to retirement saving are similar to reaching any goal. You must define what you want, stay focused, and take consistent small steps towards the goal. It is not easy or fast.

To get started, let go of past mistakes or regrets and start today. Make a rough plan, follow the plan, and adjust as you move forward. Over time your 1% in contributions will grow to 10%, and the $100 balance will grow to thousands, preparing you for the inevitable tomorrow that always comes.