Shaking That Procrastinating Feeling

Hoover Tower Halo, Stanford University (Photo by Jeff Weeks)

Hoover Tower Halo, Stanford University (Photo by Jeff Weeks)

Last week was Spring Break. My family and I spent the week touring colleges on the West Coast that my oldest is interested in attending. After making the flight from Austin to LA, we put nearly a 1000 miles on a rental car, stayed in four hotels plus a friend’s guest room, and learned a lot about the campuses we toured. It also provided a few opportunities to reflect upon just how fast time flies and what the price of a little procrastination can be.

I wrote an Accountable Update article about this time last year titled Allergies and April 18. In it, I showed an example of the cost of waiting to contribute to an IRA. Retirement, though, is an abstract concept to most of us. We all rationalize any delays in building our nest eggs by telling ourselves we can work longer, live more frugally, or just save more later.

With just over a year before my son goes to college, however, the realization has hit that time is just about up for putting away more savings for his tuition, books, room, and board. I’ve written several articles on college savings before, such as Money For Nothing and College For Free, so there is nothing about the amounts of money needed that have caught me off guard. But I can’t shake the feeling that I could have done more when I had the chance.

At least there is a decent chance that my boy will qualify for some scholarships or other forms of financial aid. He also may choose an affordable in-state public school versus a more expensive out of state or private option. But retirement may not offer that level of flexibility. In that spirit, I invite you to read another previous update, 5 Ideas for a More Prosperous “Retirement Season”.

Or, maybe we should all just take the advice from the “Oracle of Omaha” himself, Warren Buffet, “Don’t save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving.” 

As always, if you would like to discuss your situation, please get in touch.