The Most Frightening Reason To Save For Retirement

The other day I got a comment over on an old post about Personal Finance and Personality Disorders, the commenter had said that, "...true OCD is more like a superstition. The idea that if I don't do X something bad is going to happen."

While I know that I don't have OCD I decided to play devil's advocate just to possibly keep the conversation interesting. While typing out my thoughts I came up with probably one of the most frightening reasons as to why I "might" have OCD.

I claimed that if I don't save money and keep on top of my investments, I might have to work until I die at the age of 70. Granted, I was just making up a worst case scenario but the more I thought about it the more it scared me. The idea of having to work your whole life until you die sounds like one of the saddest things to accept as someone who is in their early thirties.

Even working until I'm 65 sounds depressing to me. I'm still only 31, so having to continue to work for longer than I have currently lived seems like a really long time.

How many times have you heard people claim that they, "just won't be able to retire" or that they "will have to work until they are 70"? I know that I have heard it a number of times and I'm sure most of you have heard someone else say it too.

The time to save for retirement was yesterday. If you haven't started you need to start now before you become one of those people that gets hit with a shocking truth that they may never be able to retire. It doesn't have to be a lot at first, just start making it a habit. Just saving a little bit for a few years will start to add up. Eventually you may even surprise yourself and realize that you have started your own savings snowball.

I know that I would rather wake up and realize I have a savings snowball started rather than one day realizing I would never be able to retire.

Painting by Travis Louie

8 comments:

  1. I hear someone says he had to worked until 70. But unfortunately, he wasn't able to reach that age. I feel pity on him. They had never enjoyed life because of work.

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    1. I think everyone should get to live part of their lives without the worry of money, financial independence shouldn't have to wait until 65 or later. I don't see why people think that this is just normal.

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  2. I'm sorry to inform you Mr. Zee, but your results came back and you do not have OCD. What you are explaining is closer to operant conditioning. Your claim is more reasonable not, "If I don't turn this doorknob 5 times my house is going to burn down" OCD is an anxiety disorder and actually there is more than one type of OCD. If you want to have it, then we can say that you are so obsessed with the idea that you might not retire early that you think about it every day and it causes you to be a work compulsively. This gets in the way of your life (compulsions disrupt your life in negative ways) but you can't stop because the fear of retiring later than you want is so great, that you must keep working. I work with a true OCD client and let me tell you, it is not an easy way to live nor are the thoughts rational. The idea that if you don't save you "might" have to work until your 70 seems pretty rational. Oh yeah, and just using the word "might" shows that your thoughts in this matter are not distorted enough to classify you as a true OCD. With that said, we all have OCD traits.

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    1. Oh I know that I don't have OCD, I prefaced this post by saying that I know I didn't, I even wrote a footnote in the original post that started this that I was not qualified to know the proper diagnostic definitions of personality disorders.

      I just used the comments as a spark for a motivational reason as to why I think everyone should save for retirement. I wouldn't even say that it makes me work compulsively (the name of the blog clearly states that I'm trying to avoid work).

      I would tell you more about my true compulsions and irrational thoughts but I don't think I want to step into your office in the comments of my blog :)

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and set me straight on personality disorders.

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  3. Working until I am 70 or even 65 sounds like the worst thing ever. I would far rather just save and pay attention to my spending to ensure that I can retire at 50 or 55. Life is far too short to work until you can't anymore!

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    1. Exactly. Some people say that they like working, which is great for them, I wish I felt the same. But there comes a time that you might not be able to work. and I hope people have a plan before they lose that choice.

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  4. I know a wonderful man who worked until the day he died, well past 70. He didn't need to keep working (he was very wealthy) but didn't know what to do with his time. It's important not to let work become your entire life.

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    1. If you love your work and you would do it even if you didn't get paid then you are one of the lucky ones. The man you knew, if he was still happy while working then I think that he was one of the lucky ones.

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