Most people know that if they want to have enough money to support themselves in retirement they need to start saving and investing early.  Earlier is better as the magic of compound interest can help turn even small sums into a sizable fortune.
Yet many people still aren’t putting away anywhere near enough to reach their goals, and that’s going to create a huge problem when they reach retirement age and realize they’ve come up short.
Let’s take a look at three of the most common reasons people give for not investing.  They might just sound a little familiar to you.
They Have No Money to Invest
I can sympathize with this line of thinking as I used to feel the same all the time.  When I got my first job out of college I wasn’t making much money at all and there was rarely anything left after I paid all of my bills.  I just kept telling myself that I would make up for it later when I made more money.
Flash forward a few years and I was definitely making more money but now I had more bills to pay too.  Before you know it I was married with a mortgage and a kid on the way and I had hardly any savings at all.
That’s when I realized I needed to start following the mantra of paying yourself first.  Rather than paying my bills first and saving whatever was left (which was often nothing) I set up automatic deductions into an online savings account so I knew I’d be forced to save.
Paying myself first made me shift my priorities and reevaluate my spending.  I did away with some unnecessary expenses and managed to add to my savings every month and still pay all of my bills.
They’re Afraid They’ll Lose All Their Money
This wasn’t as common a fear when the stock market was booming in the 1990’s, but these days the question marks surrounding the economy have forced us all to think twice about our investments. 
Can you lose money when investing in stocks, bonds, or real estate?  Of course, there are no guarantees.  But keeping every penny you save in a savings account or under your mattress is no solution. You’re better off counting cards in a casino than doing nothing.
Remember, if your savings don’t grow at least enough to stave off inflation you’ll still be losing ground.  The tidy sum you have saved up now won’t have nearly the same buying power a few decades from now.
They Don’t Know Where to Begin
Investing seems very complicated and it’s full of confusing concepts and indecipherable acronyms.  But you don’t need to know everything to get started.  Heck, you might even enjoy investing when you get the hang of it. Just pick a cost-effective index fund for starters and set up automatic deposits each month.  That one step alone will push you ahead of the majority of people who do nothing.
And who said you can’t learn more about investing?  Your local library has plenty of books on the subjects that you can borrow for free.  You just need to take the time to sit down and read them.
Mike Collins is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance topics. He’s also a husband and father of three children who keep him very busy.  You can read more about his quest to achieve finance freedom for his family at WealthyTurtle.com