Solving, Not Blaming

No One Will Care More About Your...Than You

I am very fond of quoting Joe Moglia (former CEO of TD Ameritrade and current football coach at Coastal Carolina) who said "no one will care more about your retirement than you." The Atlantic posted an article that plays right into this notion titled America: Where Retirees Are Are Tricked Into Regretting A Busted Savings System.

The article tries to let individuals who are undersaved off the hook by saying it is not their fault because there is no training provided on how to engage markets broadly and 401k plans specifically.

I read a lot of content about diet, exercise and related topics that I typically find via Twitter. For reasons that I don't understand many in the "self improvement Twitter" seem to delight in belittling people who don't exercise and eat poorly, blaming them for not having yet figured out these things for themselves.

Will figure out how to live our lives on our own timetables, we all start to care about our own fill in the blank when we're ready to do so. This pertains to personal finance and health.

The notion of blame seems to be backwards looking. You either have a personality type where you would blame yourself even if it wasn't your fault or you have a personality type where you would never blame yourself and neither one helps someone who right here right now is undersaved. Where no one will care more about your retirement, or anything else that is yours, you addressing blame becomes far less important than figuring out what you will do going forward to address your lack of savings.

No matter how much you know or don't know about markets, how to save and what to do with your savings you could always know more and the only obstacle to you're learning more is your own schedule.

Regardless of whether you believe the savings system is busted, we all have to navigate with it and figure out how to use it to our advantage. Paraphrasing Nassim Taleb, we all learn at an early age that we should save money and live below our means. If you are unable to save money, what is your path to changing that? If you're not able to save as much as you think you should, what is your path to improving that? Only you know the answer and if there truly is no solution for you then you need to prepare for the reality that something down the line will have to give. Without savings you probably won't be able to live in the exact manner you hope for or do all the things you hope to do. While this is not ideal it is not the end of the world either.

Backward looking blame will do nothing to improve things. A realistic assessment combined with improved education and then a plan that is reasonably executed is anyone's best shot for the simple reason that no one will care more about your retirement than you.

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