WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Social Security supporters attend a rally in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. Democratic senators, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), said the Republicans' entitlement reform plan will 'dismantle Social Security, delay distribution of benefits to seniors.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

When I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s the last thing on my mind was retirement.

If I could go back in time and change one thing in my life I would look harder at how to retire with a higher income and retire earlier and enjoy life more.

Social Security Will Probably Still Be Here

In spite of the fears that Social Security will be broke in the coming years I doubt any politician who has any hope of reelection will allow that to happen. They will find the money somewhere to keep it solvent.

But the thing to think about is that the average payment is about $1,230.00 per month or $14,760.

That’s hardly a living income by today’s standards and probably even less livable in the future. You are going to need a lot more than Social Security to live any kind of satisfying life.

How Are Social Security Payments Computed

Younger folks really need to know how this works. Your social security payments are based on your highest 35 years of work.

If you are a young worker it’s to your benefit to work multiple jobs while you’re young and earn as much as you can.

If you don’t need the money from a second job then invest that in either an individual IRA or a Roth IRA.

I vote for the Roth IRA because the money, plus interest, comes out tax-free in the future. So, the more you can make during your younger years the better you will do in later life. Set a 2015 goal to save between 10-15 percent of every paycheck. Pay yourself first.

Some Stats That Should Concern You

  • Personal Savings in America is at a four year low
  • 29 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings
  • 56 percent have less than $25,000 in savings
  • 97 percent of Baby Boomers have not saved enough for retirement
  • 55 percent of Americans did not save one penny last year
  • $772 billion in outstanding credit card debt
  • 2.32 million people were rejected for a mortgage
  • Average student debt is over $23,000
  • Last year more people filed for bankruptcy that graduated college
  • More people filed for bankruptcy than filed for divorce
  • 42 percent of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck
  • 55 percent of American’s spend more than their annual income

Some Final Thoughts

All of those stats are preventable. They are all a product of lifestyle. If you are spending more than your annual paycheck — STOP!!

If you are living paycheck to paycheck — STOP!!

If you are not saving 10-15 percent of each paycheck — START!!

Your future is in your hands no one else’s.

If you are willing to live for a short period of time like most people won’t; you can live the rest of your life like most people can’t.

Need a New Year’s Resolution? Rethink your income priorities and start planning for your future.