Cries to “fix” what may not be broken

Saving money to fund a retirement, that is.

We’ve been seeing this idea floating around a lot lately. Whether the purported reason is to “force people to save” or (more likely) to give the government access to all that money locked up in 401Ks and IRAs, the result is the same. Increasing taxes (and if it’s forced by law, it’s a tax no matter what they call it) on people fund retirement is a huge mistake.

Retirement is a relatively recent fad. Until after WWII, no one retired. You worked until you couldn’t any more and then you lived with your children until you died shortly thereafter.

Nanny state policy wonks who think they know better lament that people aren’t saving enough for retirement but I think it’s the people who know better. They know that retirement is over. Social Security is unsustainable and saving money, putting off current consumption, for the promise of a retirement that is unlikely anyway doesn’t make much sense.

Why save for a retirement that will never happen?

Better to enjoy it now while you can.

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2 Responses to Cries to “fix” what may not be broken

  1. Jake says:

    Rule 1: Follow the money.

    initiated by the federal government but managed by the private sector

    Translation: I’m going to push for the .gov to force people to do something that will make me and my friends lots of money.

    Heck, wasn’t the whole “retirement savings crisis” what Social Security was created to fix in the first place? All these people want to do is replace a failing .gov program with a new .gov program that they can make money off of. I find myself doubting their commitment to any king of long term sustainability.

  2. Kevin Baker says:

    Well, after contributing to a 401(k) since the middle 90’s that crashed in 2001, and again in 2008, when it finally got BACK to where it was (remember, I was contributing to it continuously) to where it was circa 2001, I cashed it out. Took a helluva hit in taxes this year because of that. But, like you I’ve concluded that retirement is for my parent’s generation. I will get to work until I die. Social Security and Medicare won’t be around in recognizable form when I’m 65 or 70.

    Glad I chose a career where being old is not a detriment.

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