Here’s an amazing piece of retirement savings advice from one of the members of my breakfast crew that is responsible for what I call my “Grill Quotient.”
Quickly, the Grill Quotient is my 100%-accurate contrarian market indicator based on what I hear from all the guys at my daily breakfast place on the beach.
In a recent conversation about the state of retirement savings with Kevin, one of the better-informed investors who I talk with regularly, he offered some of the simplest – and for my money, the most effective – advice I’ve ever heard to make your children and other family members invest for retirement.
In the course of our conversation, he said to me, “I made my children max out on their retirement accounts!”
My first reaction was, “How do you make somebody do that? Please tell me because I will share it with the world.”
Here’s what he said…
He told me that his two sons, immediately after college when they were trying to find a job to get started in life, both lived in his basement.
His requirement – not suggestion, not recommendation, but requirement – for them to live in his home was that they had to max out their contributions to their 401(k)s and IRAs.
He didn’t say, “Contribute.” He didn’t say, “Do what you can.” He said, “Max them out or move out.”
Kevin’s reasoning for doing what he did was right on the money. Most of us already know that once you get used to the money being taken from your paycheck before you see it, you forget about it and grow accustomed to it.
In other words, you learn to live on your net from each paycheck.
My first question, of course, was, “How did it work out?”
He said one son said to him recently he has so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it. His other son, who doesn’t make as much money, hasn’t done as well, but he still has a nice chunk of change.
My immediate reaction was, “This is so fabulous, I’ve got to do a Two-Minute on it.” Train your kids young to save. And put pressure on them to do it.
But here’s where it gets very interesting. One of his sons got married while he was still living in Kevin’s house. And when the new wife moved in… guess what? She had to max out her retirement accounts as well.
You’ve got to love this guy. But it gets better…
Kevin is divorced but has regular contact with his ex, who was also required to max out on her retirement accounts when they were married. And his system has worked so well even his ex-wife has nice things to say about what he did for her and her children.
When an ex-wife says nice things about what you did while you were married, that’s good enough for me.
Anybody who follows this segment knows how bad the retirement saving situation is for the boomers – and, from what I’ve read, the Gen Xers and the millennials too. Find a way to force them to do it. They’ll thank you down the road.
The alternative is a nightmare.