First Person: How We Avoid Retirement Saving Burnout

Yahoo Contributor Network

It seems like whenever I open the Internet or turn on the news or business channel on television, I'm seeing reports about retirement. How to save, how much to save, how long to save, where to save, when to save, how to protect savings, how to draw down savings, and all the rest…the list just seems to go on and on. We hear so much about the subject that I think sometimes we just tend to start tuning it out. It becomes a retirement burnout or sorts. We get tired of hearing about it, we get tired of dealing with it, and we get tired of feeling like we aren't saving enough or aren't earning enough on the savings we manage to accumulate. However, there are a few things that our family tries to do in order to avoid this retirement saving burnout.

Change things up

Many people think about things like IRAs and 401(k)s when they think of retirement. However, there can be more to retirement savings than just stock-based retirement plans…much more. And being able to think outside the box when it comes to retirement savings can keep things from getting too boring.

By looking for investments like savings bonds, certificates of deposit, rare coins, silver, gold, antiques, and land and property, it can give a little more variety to retirement saving, which can in turn create continued interest in the subject.

Focus on long-term goals for motivation

Sometimes it takes thinking about the future to stay motivated in the present. Pondering that dream house on the country estate, months spent relaxing at the beach home, the opportunity to travel, no debt, no work or less work, financial freedom, stress-free living, or whatever it might be could be enough to motivate us to stay focused on retirement savings in the near term.

Whenever I'm feeling burned out about money or retirement planning, I often pull out several architecture books I keep near my desk and flip through them, picking out design elements that I'd one day like in my retirement home. While they might only be dreams, sometimes it's the dreams that keep us going.

Don't think in bulk terms

Sometimes when working with retirement planning, the numbers involved can seem immense. Two million, a million, or even $500,000 may seem like insurmountable goals to achieve, and thinking in terms of these large numbers can be intimidating and frankly, defeating.

Therefore, it might take thinking in terms of smaller amounts to one day achieve those seemingly impossible numbers. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and like an ant slowly carrying one tiny grain of dirt or sand at a time to create an anthill, those little amounts -- $10 here, $20 there -- can eventually add up. The main thing is to safely stash those little amounts away -- hopefully where they're protected from impulse spending and are safely earning interest -- so that they can build upon themselves over time and in the process, hopefully grow to those aforementioned amounts.

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The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.


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