An interesting thing about Norse mythology is that unlike other mythologies, the Norse always expected to lose in the fight against good and evil. In Ragnarök, the Norse end of times, evil prevails and creation ceases to exist.
At least one historian, theorized this belief shaped a people in a unique way. It gave them an unmatched tenacity. Ok I forgot which historian and the name of the ONE book I read on this in a little library in Southern Maryland probably 10 years ago, but it always stayed with me that a people could deeply believe they’ll lose in the end but keep fighting each day. The tenacity of a people who already believe they lost everything is unmatched. How could you dampen their spirits if they’re not even dampened when expecting to be doomed for eternity? They resolve to fight until the last moment.
All this dramatization is my sensitive butt preparing to tell you, we probably need to be saving much more for retirement. I worry that will feel like Ragnarök to some of you because for a long time I’ve been encouraging you to simply set up a $50 automatic savings for retirement each month. And maybe you did that and started feeling good, which you should. But it’s time I tell you something scary; you might need to be saving closer to $500 (or more) a month to be able to retire by 67.
Can you tell I’m a millennial, comparing saving $500 a month to Ragnarök? Anyways, the first thing to do before freaking out is to calculate how much you personally should be saving for retirement. It will be different for each person due to factors like age, how much you already have saved, and when you want to retire. Go to a search engine and search for retirement calculators. There are lots of them. I like this one by NerdWallet.
Then, once you know your goal monthly savings amount, start getting creative on how you’ll get closer to it. Progress should be celebrated, so don’t berate yourself if you can’t go from $50 to $500 in a week, just keep the goal in mind and work towards it as best you can.
It’s worth it to prepare for retirement. Life gets better and better. Age is a beautiful thing. We learn more about ourselves and the world each year; you’ll want to have the funds to enjoy your hard-fought wisdom when you’re in your 60s.
If you’re like me, and can easily slip into doom and gloom, harness the power of Ragnarök and vow to fight until the end even if you think you won’t make it (you will).
Best of luck! Be brave.
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