Will You Be Eating Cat Food in Retirement?

Preparing for retirement is one of those things that a lot of us put off for a variety of reasons.

When we first start out in the working world, retirement seems so far away as to be almost unimaginable — and so we don’t prepare for the things we don’t imagine. As we get a little older, we start to think about it, but things like buying a house or recovering from job loss often take priority.

Maybe you plan to work forever…

Then there are those who just figure that they’ll work forever. While it’s fine to want to work forever, it’s not realistic to assume that you’ll be able to work forever.

According to the Social Security Disability Planner, “Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 3-in-10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.” Most people ignore those odds, but if you had a 30% chance of winning the lottery, would you buy a ticket?

So if you don’t want to be eating cat food in retirement, the time to start saving and investing regularly for retirement is now, no matter what your age or income level.

How much to save?

There are plenty of retirement calculators out there that attempt to tell you how much you’ll need in retirement and how you can get there. Sometimes though, the problem with calculators like that are that they tell you that you need some enormous sum in order to retire.

And you might. Or you might not. It depends on the lifestyle you hope to maintain, and how things go alone the way.

But you will definitely need something in retirement, so don’t neglect funding it. Every penny you can put away will help, even if it’s just a small percentage at first.

It’s better to save something, now, than to get overwhelmed and do nothing. Because no matter what the retirement calculators tell you, they can’t see the future or know your life. You are the best judge of that.

The important thing is to start now, with something.


  • We added disability insurance for the first time this year. The plan through work was very reasonable.

  • Jenna

    I’m reading Running with Scissors right now and just finished a chapter where the family eats dog food. Funny you should mention cat food in this post.

  • I definitely don’t want to be eating catfood. While we can’t help accidents, we can help protect ourselves against disease by exercising and eating right. This is another way to invest in your retirement that takes a different form than your mutual funds.

    • Oh you are so right, and those are two areas I could definitely stand to improve in. I am going to try out an exercise class tonight though, so that’s something.