I guess I was a little bored this afternoon and thinking about retirement. I'm still in my mid 30s and just starting my post-SCI career (after 9 years and a lot of schooling). I got some retirement info in the mail, and leafed through it briefly before chucking it in the trash. I just really don't believe in it, I have zero faith that if I save money for thirty years somewhere that money will still exist.
I used to think this mindset was due to coming of age around the time of the financial crisis of 2007/2008. Had I gone straight to college I would have graduated in 2006, but I was busy working at the time instead of going to school. Lots of my peers who did go to school graduated just in time to find that they couldn't find a job other than waitressing or retail, despite the very expensive diplomas they are still paying off. If the financial crisis taught us anything it was that random chance (or perhaps more like random greed?) could wipe out any savings you have, no matter what it is (stocks, commodities, retirement funds, houses).
But today I got to thinking that my experience with an SCI probably plays a big role in my lack of belief that saving money will do me any good at all in the future. I was 24 when I was injured and (for a 24 year old) had saved a decent amount of money. Poof it was all gone by the time I got out of the hospital and I was on medicaid all through the rest of undergrad and graduate school until I could get a better job. Looking back it wouldn't have mattered if I had $1.00 in savings or $100,000 or $500,000 it would have just disappeared slower and I would still have ended up on medicaid (despite having health insurance I purchased for myself at the time of my accident). Maybe the experience of inevitable destitution a decade ago makes me feel like it could happen at any time. And I figure it will probably happen again if I am lucky enough to get old enough that my body starts breaking down... so what's the point? Unless I die mercifully in a freak parasailing accident or get eaten by a vicious hippopotamus I can't see a future where I don't end up dead broke again, on medicaid and medicare (if such things exist several decades down the road).
It's not that I spend my paycheck on hookers and blow every Friday, it's just that if you give me the option of putting money in a special account I can avoid taxes on if I don't take it out for decades and decades vs taxing the money now and putting it in my bank account, I will take the money now every time. I just don't believe it will be there in the future, best case scenario i will have to take it out early and it will get taxes anyway, so give it to me now. And despite the fact that I have a pretty decent paying job at this point with much more income potential in the future, I could definitely see myself saving a little chunk of money and then quitting and blowing it all on a trip around the world while I'm still reasonably healthy.... in fact that's one of my main goals in life.
Anyway, to those of you who bothered to read my rant, am I all alone out here? Does anyone else think the same way or are all of you going to be laughing all the way to the bank when you turn 67 and drive past me on the way to your new condo in Orlando while I'm sleeping on the side of the road?