1. Social security will pay pennies on the dollar. If social security is available in the future, the government can alter the amounts and benefits, making you totally dependent on the government handouts.
  2. Planning to be healthy is a great goal. However, we all know that healthcare costs are going up, and to get Medicaid you will need to spend down all of your assets. According to several estimates, Medicare co-pays can be in the hundreds of thousands, so you need to plan to be financially independent to afford healthcare.
  3. Even the best plans get derailed. You may lose your job much earlier than anticipated (late 50s and early 60s), so you need to be financially independent to survive (or to have funds to open your own business if possible).
  4. Financial independence is a bonus all by itself. Being financially independent has a big advantage – you can provide help to your kids or your parents without bankrupting yourself.
  5. Plan for your children. If you don’t plan for a house purchase and college expenses, this can take away funds from your retirement savings.
  6. There is no fast way to accumulate wealth. The earlier you start, the more you will be able to accumulate.
  7. Fees you pay compound. An average mutual fund fee is 1.2%, and some are much higher. If you don’t minimize these fees (a typical index fund fee is 0.2%) you will lose tens (and possibly hundreds) of thousands of dollars over several decades without getting extra performance in return.
  8. Discipline is required to achieve results. Saving for retirement is like dieting – if you use the wrong strategy, you will always go back to square one. To accumulate wealth you need to invest in such a way as not to depend on the stock market to deliver your returns, and such a strategy has to be maintained for decades to produce results.
  9. Not having money is no excuse! It is even more important for those who do not have much money to plan because they are most vulnerable to mistakes and circumstances beyond their control.
  10. Emergencies happen. You have a choice: plan for emergencies by having enough resources to weather any storm or endure big financial losses – the choice is truly yours.