A reader worries that her husband doesn't worry about saving for retirement.
Question: My husband and I are lucky. Our son is living at home and just started trade school to become an HVAC technician, we both have jobs, our house is almost paid for, and we took your advice and cut up all but one of our credit cards. So what’s the problem, right?
Well, I want to start really saving for retirement. My husband says we get some money from our 401Ks at work, and that we’re only 39 and 42. He says there’s all this panic over retirement savings because the too-big-to-fail banks — run by both Republican and Democrat elites — want us to give them our money for 30 years.
I’m not sure what to think. What do YOU think, Mr. Dvorkin?
— Karen in Arkansas
Howard Dvorkin CPA answers…
I’m not going to argue with your husband about politics. While I have my own views, my job is to help everyone get out of debt — regardless of what they believe.
That said, trust me when I say: You need to save for retirement starting right now.
Yours isn’t the first or even fifth question I’ve fielded about retirement. This time last year, it was a husband insisting, “Why bother saving? We’re so far behind, we might as well enjoy our lives right now.” I told him, he was totally wrong.
Mostly, I answer basic questions like How do I save for retirement? and How much do I really need to save for retirement? In your husband’s case, it’s a completely different and even strange situation.
Unlike the others I’ve answered, you’re a couple who has the income and lacks the debt that prevent so many others from saving for their golden years. Yet your husband believes saving your money will somehow benefit others more than yourselves.
It’s true that when you invest even in a savings account, the bank earns money just as you do. Otherwise, why would they offer you any interest at all? However, your husband makes a sideways point worth stressing: You should always study any fees that take chunks out of your returns. In fact, the SEC has a PDF worth reading called How Fees and Expenses Affect Your Investment Portfolio. Trust me, it’s not as boring as it sounds, and the three minutes it takes to read it can save you a lot of money.
So the bottom line, Karen: It’s never too early to start saving for retirement.
Have a debt question?
Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and Howard Dvorkin will review it. Dvorkin is a CPA, chairman of Debt.com, and author of two personal finance books, Credit Hell: How to Dig Yourself Out of Debt and Power Up: Taking Charge of Your Financial Destiny.
Article last modified on March 16, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .