When you see an article on a legitimate news site called “Save like a Millionaire,” you freaking read it! It had some good advice, much of it I’d heard before, being the rapidly-growing money dork that I am. But one piece of advice stuck out more than any of the others. “Delay retirement as long as you can. Expect less help from Social Security and plan accordingly.” http://www.ksdk.com/news/watercooler/article/343543/71/How-to-save-like-a-millionaire
He’s essentially saying, “Pack a parachute. This plane may not make it.”
But he’s right, isn’t he? Social security is a mess and for all we know, it’ll collapse before we ever even see a nickel. Here’s our real problem, however: we’re doing nothing about it. Oh, sure, we gripe and moan to Congress that Social Security and Medicare need reform. Yes, those are government programs and they are the ones responsible for fixing them. But what do we do if they do not or cannot step up?
The entire article is basically about how we can’t rely on such a shaky system and need to save money ourselves. It’s great advice whether Social Security fails us or not, but it got me thinking. Everybody knows this is a problem because we all complain about it. But are we prepared for what we’re complaining about? Is that a proper sentence?
What do we do about our problems while they’re being fixed?
If you break your leg, your mobility is severely limited. “This sucks!” you say. “I can’t move like I need do. This problem needs to be fixed!” Yes, yes it does. But it’s not fixed yet. If you were to keep walking on that leg, keep falling down, and keep complaining about it, I would have no qualms about calling you a stupidhead.
You have to deal with that leg being broken. You have to stay off of it, keep it out of harms way, and most of all, slow down. Prepare for a long trek to the bathroom, relying on other people, and every idiot in the world wanting to sign your stupid cast. That is your reality. You can whine all you want about how it’s broken and should be fixed, but you have to live like it’s broken and act accordingly.
Our Social Security system is broken, but we’re not living like it’s broken. We’re still expecting to turn 65 (or whatever age it is now) and pick up a government check for the rest of our lives.
Our divorce rate is around 50%, but newlyweds continue to believe in the myth of “Happily Ever After.”
Christian kids are having sex no matter what their parents want, but we’re still refusing to tell them how to do it safely.
We need to wake up and deal with reality, because it’s knocking us on the floor time after time. There are a hundred problems in the world and they aren’t going to be fixed for a while, if ever. We need to live like those problems exist, and deal with the consequences.
If it’s raining outside, bring an umbrella. If the government can’t guarantee your paycheck, save your own. If half of all marriages don’t work out, then fortify the foundations of your own. If your kids are likely to have sex (i.e., they have red blood in their veins), teach them how to minimize the consequences.
It’s not Doomsday prophecy. It’s preparation. These things exist and we need to brace ourselves for the worst. Otherwise, we end up being just another statistic, crying on the side of the road, wondering what on Earth happened.
How are you dealing with reality?