The Unpleasant Truth About Your Finances

Finally, I came across an article that tells the hard truth about saving money.

 For years we've heard, "put 10 percent of your paycheck away, and this will ensure a comfortable retirement." We've read scores of books, everything from Suzy Orman to "Rich Man Poor Man."  We had set our course for financial success, and looked forward to a comfy retirement.

While browsing one of my favorite sites at  Why Everything You Know About Saving Money Is Wrong.  I read this realistic piece about what one can really expect when living from paycheck- to- paycheck.  Moreover, it addressed the fact that when people live from paycheck- to- paycheck how can they reasonably save anything?

For years I have always felt like I am less a person because I could not put money away.  I knew all the reasons why it is a challenge; starting with the economy, health care and living expenses in general.  I beat myself up mercilessly because of this.  I swore up and down that there had to be another reason (apart from self-control and conservatism) as to why I couldn't save.

Okay, truth is, I suppose I could give up going out once a week for a meal, or to a movie.
 Really?  Do I want to stop living completely? If this is what I have to do to save, then forget it.

As it is, I have given up Nordstrom for Target and starting doing my nails myself.  I am still unable to put any money away.

I even thought about the socialist governments around the world.  For example, I have a good friend with 5 children who went back to live in her native Amsterdam, because "the government would provide a home for  me and the children."  My friend does not have to pay for this comfortable home, it is all part of what she is entitled to as a single mother.  Sounds good on one level.  However, after much thought, I decided our government provides choice giving us the opportunity to succeed.

I wouldn't trade freedom for a socialist government, no matter how seemingly attractive.   I quickly abandoned the socialist route.

So what other options do I have?  Look for a better paying job?

Easier said than done, with scores of graduates out pounding the pavement, looking for the very same job for which I applying.

Shame on me, I have turned down good jobs recently, because jumping ship and starting a new job would upset the balance in my life.

Then there is the take a second job idea.  No, I am not up for a second job at this point of my life.

Investing, oh yes, I have my favorite little vignette about that.  I had invested a little bit of money in the stock market in the 80's.  This was the famous era of the stock market crash.  I lost every bit of my investment.  Following all the sages' advise not to touch my investment, and wait it out.  I waited it out to the bitter end.  There was absolutely nothing left.  There are risks to investing, didn't anyone tell me that?

The point is, not everyone can save, and not every baby-boomer can look forward to a comfy retirement.

There are more than a few of us that have to prepare for working into our seventies and perhaps beyond.

I have a sour taste in my mouth.  However, it is the truth, even though it doesn't exactly 'set me free.'

The up side is this:  I have a good reason for not saving.

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