As a certified financial planner, I have seen some pretty scary things. Forget the ghouls, goblins, and ghosts of Halloween time! They don’t hold a candle to the horror of not planning for retirement.
It’s All About the Chocolate
There’s a house in my neighborhood that goes all out for Halloween every year. You know the type–decked out with elaborate displays, characters in costume, music, lights–the whole works.
They always put on a big show for the whole neighborhood and even hired people to hand out candy to all the kids who came to the door.
But it wasn’t the extravagant decorations that caught my eye. It was the huge Hershey’s chocolate bars they were handing out to the kids.
These things were monstrous. You couldn’t just break off a chunk with your hands, you’d actually need a sturdy kitchen counter, meat tenderizer, and Olympic strength just to hammer off a few shards.
Poor Parenting Moment
I imagined myself gnawing on one for days like a dog with a bone trying to get to the chocolate marrow.
One ecstatic kid after another ran down the path waving a foil-wrapped chocolate brick to show their parents.
When they dumped the cavity-inducing barbells into their baskets you could practically hear the crushing sound of the other sweets giving way to their gigantic brother.
And the worst part? My kids weren’t interested. They were far too intimidated by the wild show they had to navigate in order to reach Hershey heaven.
I pleaded with my daughter, “All you gotta do is walk a few feet and you’ve got this huge chocolate bar. I’ll walk with you if you’re afraid!”
Of course, she instantly uncovered my plot. “It’s you who wants one. I don’t even like chocolate that much!”
Not exactly the high point of my parenting career.
These days, Halloween is becoming less and less about ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night.
Now it’s about classroom cupcake parties, free candy, an excuse to be out late on a school night, and the conga line of fairy princesses, Power Rangers, and teenagers wearing t-shirts that read “This is My Costume.”
For most kids, a little sugar splurge every now and then is fine. Just make sure the kids are brushing and flossing regularly.
The Real Scary Things in Life
Halloween may have lost its scary luster, but there are some truly frightening things in life, not the least of which is the lack of retirement planning.
Large percentages of people in this country are simply not prepared for retirement when the time comes.
So here are our three scariest retirement facts, just in time to give you the Halloween spooks.
3 Spooky Facts About Retirement Planning
1. Frightening Income Figures
According to the Administration on Aging, in 2012, 35% of people receiving social security income reported that it made up 90% of their total income.
This essentially means that other than social security withholding, a large percentage of people did little to no retirement planning throughout their working years.
2. Terrifying cost of living
14.8% of people age 65 and older lived below the poverty line in 2012.
For most, they are no longer in their productive working years, and thus, have little chance to escape these economic circumstances on their own.
3. Health scares
Mount Sinai Hospital reported in 2012 that out-of-pocket health care spending in the last five years of life exceeded total assets for 25% of the Medicare population.
As people live longer and health care expenses continue to rise, we may very well see this trend continue.
In a 2014 retirement confidence survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that only 44% of respondents had ever calculated how much money they needed to save for retirement.
Now that is scary!
Speak with a certified financial planner to make sure your retirement isn’t next year’s Halloween story.
At Medallion Financial Group, we believe financial planning is about Family. We have been helping families invest in the future since 1987 through a holistic planning approach. We recognize there are a variety of needs when it comes to retirement planning, plan rollovers, annuities, college planning, life insurance options, and investment management. It is easy to get lost in a sea of choices. Our financial advisors help with the basics and beyond to enable our clients to get the education, advice and management they need to retire with confidence.
Our focus is twofold: first and foremost, we are fiduciary advisors. We stand against any violation of laws, values, and ethics. Second, we treat our clients as part of our family, not only those who call Maryland and Georgia home, but clients across the US who have benefited from our reputation of personal service, integrity, and expertise.
We strive to exceed client’s expectations – because we have high expectations of ourselves.