UPDATE: This person asked the internet if it was necessary to save so much for retirement -- the response was surprising
By Alessandra Malito, MarketWatch
Maybe people do prioritize saving for old age
When VintageBurtMacklin, as the Reddit user goes by, asked why everyone is advised to "save so much for retirement" -- and if it is really the right move -- the commenters of the personal finance thread of the online discussion site responded in full force.
Apparently, they have been paying attention to the news of the looming retirement crisis affecting the country.
VintageBurtMacklin shared his scenario (https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/6sm4n6/why_save_so_much_for_retirement/): he took a new job after welcoming a new baby, and analyzed his budget, keeping in mind the typical advice that retirement savings should be maxed out before moving on to other financial goals, such as paying off a house or saving for college and new cars. "While I understand the importance of saving for retirement, it seems to me that saving 12% of my pre-tax income will generate more than enough savings for our retirement goals," the Redditor said. He is 25, earns $80,000, expects to retire at 65 with a 6% estimated return and is contributing $900 a month before the 4% employer match -- that would leave him with about $2.5 million, or about $75,000 withdrawn annually, he estimated). He wondered if prioritizing retirement was the right decision, or "overkill."
See: Money Milestones: This is how your finances should look in your late 20s (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/money-milestones-this-is-how-your-finances-should-look-in-your-late-20s-2017-05-16)
He got his answer. Reddit users took to the platform reminding him of other expenses he's not considering, such as possible illness, job loss, divorce, a stock market crash, health care (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/you-might-need-nearly-350000-to-pay-for-health-care-costs-in-retirement-2017-02-02) and other long-term care planning (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-retirement-cost-is-inevitable-and-can-be-insanely-expensive-2017-08-09), and even taking care of parents (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-make-sure-that-caring-for-a-family-member-doesnt-ruin-your-life-2017-05-04) when they get older (caregiving is not just a physically demanding role, but a financially demanding one).
"Your calculations are figured for perfection," one user wrote. "Also remember your kids can borrow for college but you can't borrow for retirement." They also tore into his estimations -- explaining that interest rates are just coming from all-time lows and that there is no guarantee he will see a 6% annual return for the next 40 years. "How does your planning work out if the market returns 3% per year in real terms?"