29 May 2008

30 is the new 20

I read this post today on Brazen Careerist written by a blogger named Monica O'Brien. Monica says:

If 30 is the new 20, retirements really are dead, as Ryan Healy says. Because we’re going to be so behind in saving for a traditional retirement, and so focused on instant gratification, that we won’t be able to afford it. A conscious choice we are making, or the consequence of our “me now” upbringing? To me, a three month vacation now sounds like a sad consolation to having to work the rest of my life.

First of all, seeing as I'm turning 30 in about 6 weeks, I'm glad to hear I'm really 20. I didn't have any stretchmarks when I was 20, and my boobs looked much better.

Second, I'm interested in this mention of instant gratification. I sort of alluded to that yesterday when I mentioned people are wired to want new things. The era of saving seems to be gone, even for people who want to save, like me. No matter what I do, I still don't really save money. Part of it is due to the crazy amounts of money I put towards debt, and part of it is the subconscious feeling that $200 left in my checking account means I have $200 left to spend.

I do, however, have money saved for retirement. Not enough, obviously, but some. It is difficult to be young and juggle paying bills, paying off student loans, saving for a house, paying for a car, and actually thinking about saving money to use 50 years from now. There are too many things to spend money on, and not enough money to cover them all, no matter how much (or little) you make.

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