In yet another bit of cheerful economic news, a quarter of the 1,500 people who filled out Wells Fargo’s latest retirement survey said they don’t plan to retire until they’re 80 years old — two years past the life expectancy of the average American.  Scary stuff?  You bet!

With all the ads we see for financial planning, retirement and our “golden years” it seems for many of us it will be our “aluminum foil” years.  I’ll admit I could have planned better and probably will work past 65 but let’s face it my profession isn’t very physically demanding.  Physically I should be OK but that still leaves mental acuity to be concerned with.  I have always read a lot and life is a big puzzle so I guess I can hold off mental degradation long enough to pay for large quantities of apple sauce at the retirement home.  I personally want to work past 65 because I think I could grow to be very bored at home while Kathy is at work.  When she retires in a few years she may insist that I continue to work to preserve her sanity!

I think it’s time we start educating our children and grandchildren to plan for retirement from childhood.  Most of us boomers didn’t worry about financial planning because we lived in a nation filled with prosperity.  With the American and world economies in the state there in young people will not have the opportunity to play “catch up” with savings.  With more and more Americans on welfare or some sort of assistance the national coffers are drying up and Social Security will be a myth in coming years.

Why not teach more about savings, financial planning and retirement in schools.  I had one semester of economics in high school that touched on the workings of Wall Street.  We need to drill into young people that they have to provide for their future.  We need to teach them the workings of compound interest if nothing else.  They should learn at an early age that it’s not how much you earn but how much of what you earn that you save.

This great nation and many European nations have relied on a credit card mentality too long and we are just beginning to see the effects as Social Security and entire economies are failing.  Government leaders must learn not to spend more than we make and we, as individuals must learn to prepare for our future.