Should Your Employer Or The Government Force You To Save?

By: ispeculatornew
Date posted: 11.29.2012 (4:00 am) | Write a Comment  (0 Comments)

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You might have read about this or even seen some shows on ESPN that described how hundreds of pro athletes that made millions in their playing days are now completely broke. Many of them had to declare bankruptcy. For some, it’s because of bad investments, getting caught in ponzi schemes but for the vast majority, it’s caused by excessive spending. It’s shocking honestly. How in the world can someone who’s made $10M in 5-6 years of playing end up having nothing left? I know that most athletes don’t make that much, but there are still hundreds of examples. I heard that some guys would receive bills on mortgages that they didn’t even remember taking (buying houses for friends…). It’s scary.

Is the Problem Bigger Than We Think?

If you agree as I do that we can’t count on governments or company pensions to retire, then I think it’s fair to say that our ability to save and invest will end up being a huge part of how our retirement ends up looking like. Unfortunately, for the vast majority, that will not be enough to have a decent retirement. They will be forced to lower their retirement standards of living and/or work longer than they’d like to. It’s sad. Part of it is because they don’t make millions and are unable to save up enough money.

The Actual Reason

A much bigger reason though is that most of us set it as too low of a priority. We do all of our spending and then save whatever is left. In most cases, that amount is slim if not negative.

What Could Be Done

The NBA announced that it would be forcing its players to put money aside by the NBA into funds that will help them when retirement comes around.

Could This Model Be Duplicated?

Could you imagine the government forcing us to put money aside? It would certainly resolve part of the problem but I’m not sure how that would work. First of all, controlling that, trying to determine how that money can be used, etc. It seems like a lot of complexity and would probably end up being very inefficient. I could also imagine the government trying to force people to invest in certain ways which clearly would not work out well.

A Much Better Idea

I still think that schools should focus a lot more on this stuff. Showing kids how to build a budget, how investing and compound interest works, the consequences of starting to save early vs not, etc. I still can’t believe that we don’t learn more about this given how critical it is.

Any thoughts?

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