I write about the virtues of saving (for retirement, for your emergency fund) or even saving for something you want, like a vacation. I believe you should generally try and save up for things in advance. The very use of credit means paying for something you don’t have money for. This is how I am wired. Certainly not everyone is plugged-in the same way, possibly to their detriment.
Take a few work colleagues, for an example. Upon walking to the cafeteria for lunch one day, a co-worker of mine asked about my upcoming plans for a sunny destination this winter. I said we have some plans and we’re in the process of saving for it. The conversation continued like something along these lines….
Me – Yeah, we didn’t go south last winter. Ugh, that was painful – it was such a long winter. So we vowed to put away some cash this year to enjoy a week or so down south; winter isn’t in full swing yet and we’re already looking forward to the trip. The recent time change (daylight savings time) makes these shorter days more painful. I go to work in the dark and I come home in the dark.
Co-worker – Yeah, they are, but I don’t worry about saving for trips. They go on my credit card and I deal with that afterwards. Everyone else does it, no big deal…
Me – Well, I suppose it’s OK if nothing happens to your job.
Co-worker – Do you know something I don’t? *laugh*
Me – No, just that you never know….*pause, shrugs shoulders*….right?
Co-worker – I guess…but I have a pension so I don’t really need to save. My financial advisor told me so.
Me –…your financial advisor actually told you that?
Co-worker – Yes. They said because I’ve been working here for over 25 years I don’t really have to worry about my future, the pension will take care of me. They did say though I need to keep my job for another 10 years to get the pension that I need to retire on.
Me – So there are some strings attached eh?
Co-worker – Yeah…come to think of it, that doesn’t sound very positive!
Me – *keeps walking with co-worker to cafeteria*
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this from some co-workers. There is no need to save because there is a credit card they can enjoy on demand. There is no need to save for retirement because some people have a workplace pension in their future. Wrong. Things happen. The future is always cloudy.
You might have a pension in your future but for people who think and act this way, I hope nothing happens to their job or their ability to earn an income between now and retirement. Roll your dice.