The dissipators posit themselves as victims of a greater conspiracy, because no matter how hard they try, nor how much money they make - often hundreds of thousands of dollars a year - they cannot seem to get ahead. They can't save a penny, and obviously, this is someone else's fault.
And it wasn't easy, and I could have done better, and at age 50 or so, I realized this. But I did save some money, and that has made all the difference in the world.
Today, I know a number of people - perhaps the majority in this country - who are heavily in debt, have little or nothing saved for retirement, and have all the latest electronic toys, new cars, and a fancy house. They think they are "rich" - and their children certainly do as well (they keep calling to borrow money, and Mom and Dad keep doling it out as though they have it). But in reality, they are only a few steps away from the poorhouse. One job loss from bankruptcy and foreclosure.
In 2009, we saw this happen. People lost their jobs, and they quickly lose it all. They go from having granite countertops, leased cars, a maid service, and new smart phones for all the family, to being basically destitute. From six-figure salary to nearly homeless, and it needn't be that way.
Are you finding you can't "save money" in your life? Find something in your life you don't need and cut it out entirely and then put that money into a savings plan. It won't happen overnight, but over time, you will build up an estate - an amount of money that you can retire on, and live independently from everyone else, if you so choose.
The alternative, retiring on Social Security alone, is rather grim.