WHAT HAPPENS IF WE THINK WE CAN’T SAVE ENOUGH FOR RETIREMENT AND STILL HAVE A LIFE?
What’s the harm in saving 15% of your income for retirement? Many will argue, especially those who work in the financial services industry, that just to be sure, you can never save too much. Having too much money saved when you are 90 years old is a much better problem than not having enough money.
However, when we scare young people into believing they won’t be able to retire because they are not saving 15%, they sometimes make irrational, fear based decisions. The most dangerous of these decisions could be not to have any children, or have only 1 child instead of 2 or 3.
If the financial press and marketers convince enough young people that they can’t afford to be a parent, have a life AND retire in comfort at a reasonable age, then our whole country is doomed. We absolutely need to have at least enough children to keep the population of Canada from shrinking. Immigration can help a little bit, but it cannot save us if people stop having children.
Without enough young people to keep Canada working, our economy starts to flat line and eventually may collapse. Before you say this will never happen, it’s already started to cause economic problems in countries like Korea, Japan, and Italy.
We need young people to work, to build, to innovate, to start new businesses all to support seniors. Working and raising a family is already a challenge. We need to encourage this choice and reward those young people who are helping to keep Canada vibrant and economically strong into the future.
Young people need help to make good financial decisions and this can happen by providing them with unbiased information about retirement saving that proves to them they can have all the joy and challenge or raising a family and still afford a comfortable retirement at age 65.
I’m a department head for a high school in Toronto. I graduated from the Ivey School of Business at Western University and have been a DIY investor for over 20 years.