Monday, February 21, 2011

It Costs More Than You Think

Wow, two posts in a row about financial woes.

This text isn't meant to come out as complaint, as I have made a series of conscious choices to be where I am, but simply observations.

Life costs a lot more than one realizes from the offset. I know this isn't news to anyone other than me, rather, it is probably a milestone of adult thought process that all people experience at some point, but it is just hitting me now. Thus, I talk on it.

Snow tires, car repairs, technology replacements, taxes, etc. All the hidden expenses that do not glare out at you when making what you think is a workable budget. Now, I have always been a good saver when the option is there. But when it is not, boy do those hidden costs seem worse. In addition, it always feels like savings are not for those emergency sort of expenses, they are for far loftier things, such as the purchase of a house, travel, or contributing to a retirement account.

This sounds like all the stuffy shit I looked upon as ball and chain for so long, now only to realize that they are truisms that are so because of general common sense. Of course you are going to want a more spacious, permanent living space at some point. This is not a sign of giving up adventure, but more a sign of thanking yourself for putting down roots and cultivating the place where you happen to be. If the choice is to embark to create a different kind of good, that is excellent too, but is probably less often accompanied with a feeling of wanting physical permanence. But I digress.

Of the above- listed things the most important/scary (and therefore formerly most stuffy) is the retirement plan. Why on earth would I want to spend any time thinking about being done with my lifes work when I feel like I have barely begun? I was going to say that I cannot even imagine, yet I can (it's relatively easy) what it would be like to have had a steady, single job for the whole time I have been graduated from college. If that were the case, I am sure that these thought may have crossed my mind more often. Or maybe not. Maybe having those sorts of thoughts would be worth exchanging flexibility and variety in favor of stability. I may even be able to cut out the 'variety' idea, as no job I would imagine myself in would be monotonous. I would not allow it to be so. That is likely why my 'income accessorization' job is driving me nuts. Monotony.

Is it possible for me to have thoughts with out having to write them down? I digress. AGAIN. Back to retirement plans. I read a story in the Saturday Wall Street Journal about how a lot of boomer's retirement plans are coming up less than they expected. Now, I know this is much more complicated than I (or probably most people, which is part of the problem) can understand, but it doesn't stop me from being FREAKING WORRIED about how the hell me and people my age are going to manage when we don't get social security. What the hell!!? It angers me so much to be paying into a system that will not end up benefitting me. I'd be happy to be completely responsible for handling retirement savings myself if I could use the money I am now paying into social security in any way I wish. Then, I'd actually have a sum to put away in my Roth IRA that I responsibly created for myself. But instead, I am putting it all into broken system that won't do SHIT for me. And what can I do about it?

I suppose I could write a letter to my congressmen. I am a true believer in being an engaged citizen, but when lobbying groups that rely on corporate donations have so much standing, what does my little letter do? I'd be happy to support any lobbying group that would work on this cause, but without money or time to donate, just an opinion, what good can I do them?

This is the kind of issue that one can spiral around for many, many hours. I feel like I had better put an end to it because I am not sure it can go anywhere immediately productive. The end for now.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

Totally sympathize with you. I think we are having the adult epiphany around the same time. I just threw down several hundred dollars for car repairs tonight. :(