Almost there...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Don't Look!

I looked today to see what my retirement account was doing. It's bad. Really bad. It's got an annual rate of return of negative 17.8 percent.

I knew I shouldn't look. Argh.

I know that they theory is that we're better at investing and if we put away enough money each year, it will be better than social security or a pension, but I gotta say I'd love to have a pension and I'm going to fight against it if they want to privatize Social Security. I know it's not enough to live on, but a little guaranteed income in my old age is the sort of security blanket that keeps me going when the retirement picture is so grim. I look at what my grandparents and their generation is experiencing and they've got it awfully good compared to what I face in my old age, and I've been saving for retirement (via IRAs, 401k, and 403b) since I was 22 years old, and at the pathetic rate it's increasing, I don't ever see retirement as a possibility, and I'm a nice middle-class girl with a decent and steady job who has been doing all the right things for a dozen years. I can't imagine what it's going to be like for folks who haven't been as conscientious or thrifty as I have. I suspect the old age of Gen X may be an even bigger wake up call for the nation than the old age of the Boomers.

Still, for now, I'm leaving everything as it is, still drawing off 16% of my income for retirement, staying in the same funds and so on. Hopefully it will bounce back a bit in a few years. I'm not looking again until at least 2009.


  • This is a bad year for practically everyone. I'm down 9% YTD. KPFA does a 1:1 match up to 4% of your contribution, so I'm still better off contributing than not.
    Theory goes that you are investing for the long run and that even big drops like this are overcome over several years.

    By Blogger Chrisfs, at 6:24 PM  

  • You are drawing off 16% of your pre tax income for retirement ?
    Wow, I think that's more than most people. I'm doing 8% through my 403(b) at work (4% from me 4% from employer), and 7.4% outside of it to Roth IRAs,

    By Blogger Chrisfs, at 10:51 PM  

  • Do you think that Social Security will be guaranteed income for you? My general sourness about Social Security boils down to my pessimism that it will even be around when I'm eligible to start drawing retirement benefits.

    By Blogger Natalie, at 10:53 AM  

  • 2009 is too soon. Wait ten years. By 2018, you still won't be retired, and either the economy will have recovered, or we'll have bigger things to worry about. I FOR ONE WELCOME OUR NEW ROBOT OVERLORDS

    By Blogger CKL, at 9:44 PM  

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