I recently received my annual 401(k) statement from a previous employer, and my account balance is only around $20,200. I do not possess any other retirement accounts. People who know me would likely not be surprised to learn that I have stashed less than $25,000 away for retirement. Since the age of 27, I have opted, for the most part, to use whatever cash I have earned to pay for my schooling and to cover my daily living needs. Additionally, like many Americans, my retirement account was depleted by the stock market crash in 2007-2008.
In the near future, the amount of money I save for retirement will not increase significantly. For one thing, I would like to reduce my graduate student loan debt before I even begin to think about saving money for my golden years. Additionally, I prefer to have access to all of my funds and cannot exercise that level of control over many types of retirement accounts. Finally, I am only 38 years old and do not plan to retire for decades; I have plenty of time to stash money in an IRA or a 401(k). Granted, I could suffer a debilitating injury at a moment's notice, however I will take that risk. Besides, if I did become disabled at this early stage in my life, I would probably exhaust even a very large retirement fund before I passed away.
Some people may look askance at my paltry retirement savings and criticize my decision not to work hard to increase this figure. That is okay. I am comfortable with my decision.
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