It was one of those nights – one filled with negotiations. You too have likely had one of those nights. You know the type. You felt tired when you went to bed, but you just can’t seem to fall asleep. You try to clear your mind, but thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow infiltrate your thoughts. You try different sleeping positions, hoping your body will settle. Eventually, you start negotiating your night’s sleep: “okay, if I can fall asleep now, I can still get a good six hours.” Unfortunately, those six hours become five hours, then four hours, and eventually negotiate down to minutes.
Sadly, saving for retirement can be much like this. At first, we have all the time in the world. We are young and have our whole life ahead of us to save. Then, life happens, and time begins to slip away. Before we know it we are in our 40s, and retirement starts creeping more into our thoughts. We know there is still time, but time is quickly becoming our enemy. Unfortunately, we still can’t give retirement the consideration that we should. Soon, we are in our 50s and approaching our 60s, and we begin to negotiate. We start thinking, “okay, I have little-to-nothing saved, but if I really focus, maybe I can retire by 65 or 70. I might not be able to live as I do now, but I can I probably live on less.”
We live in a world today where saving is not, shall we say, considered a high priority. We certainly don’t prioritize saving over the many conveniences we can’t live without —even though our parents and grandparents somehow managed. Although, many of the things we feel we cannot live without today, we would likely be willing to live without tomorrow if it meant we could retire and enjoy life. So the question is, what sacrifices can we make today so that we aren’t negotiating our time down the road?
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV)