5 Reasons You Shouldn't Be Saving For Retirement

Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
Retirement planning seems to be the most pervasive and consistent financial advice you get from your boss, co-workers, friends, and family. It's financially sound advice based on the tax savings, tax protected investing, and, if you're lucky, a company match. However, fixating too much on long-term planning may subject you to financial struggles in the short term.
As a financial planner and founder of Financial Gym, I feel personally responsible for helping my clients not only identify their life goals, but also making sure they have the most effective plan for achieving those goals. And often times, I think the traditional school of thought around retirement planning doesn’t consider a person’s whole financial picture. Yes, saving for retirement is a must, but so is planning for your other life goals — whether that’s paying off your student loans or traveling the world, or both.
I want to be clear that retirement savings is an important part of your overall financial plan, and if you earn enough money to save for your short- and long-term goals at the same time — then you should. However, if you have to prioritize your savings goals, then it makes sense to focus on your more immediate goals first and catch up on retirement when you can. I’ve seen too many clients prioritize their 401(k) contributions only to be stressed out from lack of cash or high interest rate credit card balances that won’t go away. Before you commit to your retirement accounts, review your progress to your other money goals first, and cut out the unnecessary financial stress along the way.
So before you put every extra penny into your retirement accounts, consider these five reasons why you shouldn’t save for retirement.

More from Work & Money

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.