When I first started working I remember thinking, “If only I could save $50,000, then I’d feel relatively content and secure.” When the bank account reached $50,000 the number in my mind jumped to $100,000, but when I hit that $100,000 mark the figure in my head continued to grow.
I saved the maximum amount in my 401(k) each year and watched the numbers climb higher and higher, but each time I hit a specified target I decided it wasn’t nearly enough. $100,000? $200,000? $300,000? I began looking forward to the future and thinking that might be enough for today, but it surely wouldn’t be enough to last me through retirement.
How much did I need to feel content and secure? $1,000,000? $2,000,000? When I reach those numbers would I finally be satisfied or does having more money make you dream of having even more?
Over the years our net worth has grown by leaps and bounds, but as I look at the total of all of our accounts I still think the final figure should be larger than ever. I am extremely concerned by the future of our health care system and the price that my husband and I may need to pay as we get older.
My parents and in-laws both carry supplemental insurance covered by their previous employers. At 60+ years old they pay only a few hundred dollars per month for quality care while my husband whose is self employed pays over $1000 per month for our family of three. I ran a hypothetical calculation on premiums in our fifties and found the figure to be twice our current cost. Rather than paying $1000 for three of us we’d pay $2000 for just my husband and I!
That’s $24,000 a month in premiums in an HSA plan, which also requires us to pay $3000 in deductibles before insurance even kicks in and God knows how high premiums and deductibles will rise in the future! We are currently saving money in our HSA but with limits of $6,650 per year and significant fees it’s difficult to believe this money will grow significantly enough to cover our future medical expenses.
The worst part about insurance is feeling like you are paying something for nothing. Imagine paying $24,000 in premiums and only going to the doctor once a year for a physical. That’s a whole lot of money that could have been used for other purposes.
When I look at my bank accounts I feel ridiculously secure with the amount of money we’ve saved to date. I know it would last us ten or fifteen years without any trouble, but when I project forward I’m not quite as certain.
How much money do I need to feel content and secure? I’m afraid as the money grows so does my fear that it may not be enough.
What about you? Do you have a specific figure in mind?