What’s Your Excuse? Reasons People Don’t Plan for Retirement

As a part of my Retire Inspired event, I hand out sticky notes to the people in the audience. Then I tell everyone to write down the excuses they’ve made for not taking retirement seriously. At the end of the session, I tell folks to leave their excuses at the door—literally. They cover the doors with their sticky notes as they leave.

I keep those notes and read them when I can. From one side of the country to the other, people list similar reasons for their lack of focus and planning for their retirement years. Maybe yours is among some of the most common:

I Want to Play Now

Of course you’ve heard this excuse before. You probably said it when you were a kid! Who wants to do grown-up stuff like chores and homework when there’s so much more fun stuff to do? Guess what? You’re a grown-up! That means you get to do grown-up things, like planning for the future. If you don’t take retirement seriously now, you won’t be able to play when you get older. You’ll be working!

Keeping Up With the Joneses

Welcome to America, where everybody looks wealthy, but over half of the people are just one paycheck away from financial disaster. That’s because most people are spending money they don’t have on stuff they don’t need (or even want!) to impress people they don’t know. If you need stuff to wow your circle of friends, get new friends. And tell the Joneses to shove off.


People say they don’t have enough time to dream, plan or save for retirement. That always makes me wonder, though, If not now, then when? When will you take the time? You will retire someday, whether you want to or not! The sooner you tackle this issue, the more time you’ll have to take action to make your dream a reality. Even if you’re starting late in the game, you can still plan and work toward your retirement goal. You can still enjoy a great retirement if you’re willing to make sacrifices!


At least you’re being honest! It takes real effort and determination to achieve your retirement dream. You have to work to pay off debt, put extra money toward your goal, make a budget every month, and keep track of your retirement accounts. Yes, you could take the lazy route and do nothing. And nothing is what you’ll have when you can’t work anymore.

Spousal Disconnect

Oh, boy. This is a tough one. If you’re not on the same page with money, then that’s where you need to start. Now. The good news is that dreaming together about retirement could bring you closer together. I know, those discussions can be scary and frustrating, but ignoring the issue won’t make it go away. If things don’t improve, talk to a counselor. There’s something going on underneath the surface. Money isn’t the real problem.

It’s a new year—a time for leaving the past behind, setting new goals, and making life changes. It’s also time for you to leave your excuses at the door and get serious about your retirement.

Your future is in your hands!