“More than half of American households with someone 55 or older have no retirement savings, and many will have only Social Security benefits to live on after they stop working, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office.” (Read Full Story Here)
Social Security is a government savings program intended to be a financial safety net for people retiring. However the average person is only able to receive $14,000 per year from Social Security and many experts are saying the program itself is not sustainable and will likely go bankrupt, especially if taxes are not raised for that purpose.
Here’s my two cents for those of us not currently saving money or preparing for emergencies.
1) First and foremost, do not rely upon the government to be your retirement plan.
2) Set money aside every month, no matter how bad things are. Everyone can spare $10 each. Try to add more when times are good. Make it a rule to not touch these extra funds.
3) Be cautious of the Stock Market. Have at least one account that is not linked to stocks. A traditional savings account. Put at least half your savings into this account. This way if the markets really take a hit, at least a portion of your savings will be safe.
4) Invest in commodities. More specifically invest in a long term food storage plan. You can find dry pack meals that are quite delicious that have a 20 year shelf life. Here’s one company that specializes in such items. They also sell other emergency preparedness supplies that are worth having around if you have a few extra dollars at the end of the month. Our local grocery store sells dry pack cans of wheat and other long term storage items. I will buy a 5 gallon bucket or a few cans every month or so. Having some drinking water in storage in your basement is a good idea too. Owning, guns, gold, silver, bullets, and tools are often good to have around. If nothing else, they hold value and if things ever get really bad they can be traded.
Obviously it’s not easy to be prepared. Our culture is one of waste and convenience. Being financially and physically prepared takes time and practice.
That’s why I recommend people start preparing today. But, more than that, let’s try to become more self reliant. ExtraFunds seeks to expand its resources to help people achieve this goal, to be more financially prepared.