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Are You Talking Yourself Out of Saving for Retirement? Here’s How to Break the Habit

Written By Editor on 1/22/23 | 1/22/23

Saving for retirement can be an abstract concept. It’s something we all know we should do, but the farther away we are from it, the easier it is to delay making it a priority – especially when we have other financial commitments nearer on the horizon. If you find you are talking yourself out of saving for retirement, 
consider reframing your thinking. A shift in perspective may be what you need to get on the right track. 

Here are some common excuses people give for not saving for retirement – and how you can overcome them.

“Retirement is a long way off.” It’s easy to get wrapped up in your current financial obligations, telling yourself that you’ll prioritize your retirement next year. However, like many worthy aspirations, building a retirement nest egg takes time and discipline. If your golden years seem far away, remind yourself of the power of saving early. Time allows you to tackle your retirement goals in smaller increments with the potential for compounded growth. Retirement will likely come faster than you think, and you’ll thank yourself later for planning ahead.

“I’ll prioritize retirement after paying for my child’s education.” With the rising costs of college, it’s understandable if you to want to help your child obtain a quality education. However, although it may feel like you’re letting your children down if you don’t make paying for their tuition your top financial goal, saving for retirement should take priority. If your retirement savings come up short, you won’t have the ability to apply for scholarships, grants, or financial aid to help bridge the gap like your child might for college. 

“I can’t afford to save.” If this phrase comes to mind, give your self-talk a flip. Instead, think “I can’t afford not to save”. Setting aside even a small amount of money each month can make a big difference, as your assets can grow with the benefit of compounding. If you are able, consider increasing your monthly contribution to continue to build your nest egg. 

“My family will help me.” Perhaps you’re expecting a generous inheritance or hoping that your adult kids will provide a financial cushion if you experience unexpected expenses later in life. Wishful thinking is not a strategy. Regardless of who you believe may come to your aid, it’s best to take your financial security into your own hands. Life is full of uncertainties that could impact the bank accounts for both you and your family members. Knowing your future is under financial control can give you and your family peace of mind. 

Don’t let these common mantras and negative self-talk undermine your retirement. With a consistent and well-informed approach to saving and investing, you’ll be in a much better position to retire with confidence. 

Consider working with a financial advisor to create a plan for your future. Together you can determine your savings targets and explore a wide range of strategies to meet your financial goals. It’s time to talk yourself back into retirement. 


Michael D. Lanuto, CRPC®, AWMA® is a Financial Advisor with S.M. Miller & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. in Albany, NY.  He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 7 years. To contact him: 518-949-2039; 4 Atrium Drive, Ste 200, Albany, NY, 12205;; 

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