5 Reasons Why You Will Retire Poor

Published: June 22, 2014 | Updated: July 3, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Personal Finance



The average life expectancy in Asia is 75 years. Retirement age is on average at 60 years. That leaves 15 or so years for you to enjoy your pension funds—or will you? Do you honestly believe that your SSS or private pension fund would be enough to sustain you after retirement? Or are you picturing a more comfortable, even a bit of a luxurious life, when the time finally comes?

Whatever you picture your lifestyle would be when you retire, you need to ask yourself if you’re doing something right now that helps you attain the kind of future you want. It may be that you’d have children who will assist you in your retirement, but you might also not want to burden them when you get old. It’s up to you to prepare for the future and there’s no better time to start than now.

The average Filipino worker has a tendency to live payday to payday; but you can end this cycle. You think it’s a bit too early to be thinking about retirement—and you’d be wrong. If you want a comfortable retirement for yourself, here are some problems you should start dealing with starting today:

1. Underestimating Costs

After retirement, you’d be getting a steady stream of cash flow aside from pensions and social securities. Some might think this is enough, but it isn’t. The cost of living in the country is steadily increasing. The prices for groceries, rent or mortgage, transportation costs (commuting or gasoline), and just about anything is getting more and more expensive, yet we still go out and have expensive dinners, buy high-end brands, and watch the same movies over and over.

You need to stop looking at everything in short term, and start planning things for the long term.

2. No Medical Emergency Plans

As you get old, you become more susceptible to sickness and injuries. Your body’s immune system will not be as strong as it was before. Most of the time, we don’t look far enough ahead to save for medical emergencies. This could mean medical expenses, hospital expenses, surgical expenses, or even dental expenses. Having health or medical insurance can help mitigate the expenses for this, but not every member of the family might have insurance. If this is the case, this can leave a huge dent in your retirement funds.

3. Spending Big

Filipinos have long been known for their extravagance, especially when celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or religious holidays. You take out a loan or pay via credit card just to cover these expenses, but what this actually does is put you into debt. Debt occurs when you borrow money from anyone, including a financial institution or a bank. You will be repaying this debt over a period of time, when you could have been putting that money in a savings account or even your retirement fund. Hold simpler celebrations. Small parties will be less stressful to the wallet, and are more intimate.

4. Forgetting About Taxes and Fees

Retirement means you no longer would have to go through the long and arduous process of filing for your Income Tax Returns. But it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook on taxes: there’s real property tax, and then value-added tax, travel taxes when you want to go in and out of the country, and various other fees and charges sanctioned by the government. Not calculating these when preparing for your retirement will hurt your retirement fund, so don’t forget about them.

5. No Investment Guts

Investing in property, stocks, or bonds can actually help give you, as well as your family, something to bank on when you finally hit retirement age. If you don’t invest early, or at all, you miss the chance of getting an extra cash boost when you retire. There are, of course, legitimate fears when it comes to investing: inflation, scams, economic crises, and so on. But without overcoming these fears, you won’t be able to invest in anything, and your money can end up growing stale, instead of growing more.

It’s never too early to plan for retirement; and it’s neither too early to botch it up. Do you want to live on a meager monthly allowance when you get old, or do you want to be traveling the world? It’s all up to you. Just remember that every financial decision you make now affects your future.