Personal Finance Education Wrap-up

Categories : Financial, News
May 1, 2024

Two months of our Blog posts have targeted young people, who (through no fault of their own) are unprepared to face the realities of their own personal financial lives. Over time, a dearth of education leads to a society where nearly half the population ages 55 through 66 have no retirement savings. Worse, perhaps, is that nearly 40% of all age groups could not handle a $400 emergency expense. We know this simply because it describes present-day America.

Relying on Social Security monthly benefits for complete retirement income is not a sufficient plan. Nor was it ever intended to fulfill that role in society. According to the U.S. Government, the 2024 poverty level for a couple is $20,400, or $1,703/month. Today’s average Social Security monthly benefit is currently $1,760. Fortunately for some families, both partners are qualified for benefits, lifting them above poverty, but not by much. For renters, that amount of money provides a very meager shelter, and even homeowners are faced with escalating property taxes, utilities, and homeowners’ insurance.

Inflation is pummeling our expenses. Social Security Cost-of-Living Increases, or COLAs, will never keep up. Food costs, medical costs, energy costs, and a host of other monthly expenses are on the rise. Medicare pays only a fraction of total medical expenses, and Medicare is costly. Without a supplemental income, our seniors’ standard of living is being threatened.

Retirees are responding by re-entering the workforce when and if they can. However, over half of retirements are involuntary, being forced by sudden illness, poor health, or business conditions in the workplace. Finding work is not a guarantee, even for those retirees who are serious and qualified. Every economy has ups and downs, and slack times take a toll on those seeking to supplement their retirement incomes.

Hence, for a large swath of society, it is too late for them to improve their situations. Securing a comfortable retirement must begin as early as possible in life. Younger people will only provide for themselves if they possess knowledge and understanding of the financial world in which they live. Van Wie Financial is dedicated to helping Americans help themselves, through education and understanding.

Participation in dynamic financial markets will assist investors in reaching their goals, but only after those goals have been specified. Americans are fortunate to live in a society that rewards work, saving, and investing. Ignore the possibilities at your own long-term financial peril. Learn all you can while you have time left.

For the record, purchasing Lottery tickets is NOT a retirement plan.

Van Wie Financial is fee-only. For a reason.