In the long run, in a world where non-governmental pensions are rare, there are only a few truisms when it comes to planning to stop working before keeling over at your desk:
(1) Spend less than you earn, realizing that no matter how much it hurts, you’ll need those savings once you can no longer work. For most people, that requires reducing your standard of living, no matter how low it already is. That’s a tough pill to swallow.
(2) Start saving as soon as you have income, making sure to put together an emergency fund first, but then take advantage of an IRA, 401(k), or equivalent up to its max if possible.
Of course, both of those are true but most people spend any increase in their earnings, rather than save it and few people think about how they’ll survive in old age until it’s close — which is really too late.
The positive trend? General news and financial media are putting out far fewer articles suggesting that miracles are possible. Instead they’re providing the facts that individuals who aren’t financial whizzes need. This article is a great example that describes the real life situation of individuals who have to figure out what to do next. That’s good reporting — and useful.