First Person: I'm Getting Over My Financial Cynicism Before Retirement

Yahoo Contributor Network

While other generations may be accused of being selfish when it comes to material things, my Generation X appears to be the most cynical about their finances. According to a recent article by The Street, baby boomers are the worst with money. While I don't agree with making generalizations or putting everyone in a box, I can admit I am very cynical about my personal finances. And, I know I need to overcome my financial cynicism before I retire. Many people can relate to my cynicism and skepticism about the stock market, but my attitude is affecting other areas of my financial life as well.

Feeling resentful about the housing market

I'm extremely resentful about the housing bubble and the aftermath. It makes me livid that I would have to pay PMI or private mortgage insurance if I refinanced my house. Considering I put 20 percent down when I bought the house in 2005 and considering I have paid down my mortgage balance from about $150,000 to $100,000 in the past 7 years, I don't think it's fair. In fact, I refuse to refinance until I can do so without having to pay that $50 PMI even if it means I give up on $38,000 worth of savings in interest by getting a lower interest rate. My way of overcoming my cynicism is to just pay my mortgage off while I wait out the PMI issue.

Getting myself motivated to invest

When it comes to my retirement savings, I am not very motivated to save anymore. I don't have faith in the stock market anymore after watching my retirement savings balance dwindle. Also, with global warming and all the talk of the end of the world, I don't even believe I'll be alive in another 25 years when it's time to retire. I rather spend my retirement money on my family now. My way of overcoming my investing apathy is to just let my company take out 5 percent automatically from my paycheck, even though I don't think it's going to do much good. I'm motivated by the idea of leaving my sons an inheritance in case the world does continue on.

Raising the frugal generation

According to The Street article, the Millennials grew up during the recession when it became "cool to be thrifty." My younger son, who is on the tail end of the Millennial generation, is one of the most frugal people I know. He searches for the least expensive deals on the Internet and only buys things he needs. I know I need to be less cynical about money around my children so they can manage their money wisely.

Like many members of Generation X, I have had to deal with massive amounts of student loan and credit card debt. I got fed up with the fact that credit card companies and banks were making so much money off of my ignorance and lack of discipline. After running up debt in my 20s, I turned it around and got out of debt. I'm sometimes tempted to fill out a credit card application, but I know it's a path that always ends up in a place called regret. And although I may by cynical when I die, I rather not have any regrets.

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