Why You Shouldn’t Bother To Save For Your Retirement

“I don’t want to invest money,” said the young, bearded schoolteacher.

“Do you have a trust fund?” I asked. He said no. “Have you married a wealthy spouse, or perhaps someone who’s going to be eligible for a defined benefit pension?” He smiled and said no.

It was a weird conversation, considering the venue.

A group of American teachers had flown me to Kuwait. They had asked me to teach a workshop on saving and investing.

During a 5-minute break, that young man thanked me, smiled, and stood up to leave.

I wondered why he came. But I also figured there might be something I could learn.

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Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (2nd Ed. Wiley 2017) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and the Comments Policy.

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5 Responses

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  2. GYM says:

    Oh dear, was he a millennial? (I kid I kid!) A lot of my friends are not saving for retirement though they are eligible for defined benefit pensions but other things get in the way, like huge mortgages and paying for daycare and children. There’s only so much of the % of the income pie that people can allocate to retirement and financial independence but I think people should just start somewhere and put something into retirement savings.

  3. John says:


    I’m Canadina and teach EFL in Asia. I’ve been investing in Vanguard Canadian funds: VSB (bonds), VDU (world markets) and VUN (US total stock market. My question is, with the new funds released by Vanguard Canada recently, do you think that I should add a 4th ETF to my portfolio, and if so, which one do you think would compliment my current ETFs?


  4. John says:

    Hi Andrew,

    No idea, really. I guess that I think it’s a simple, straightforward portfolio to maintain. But I thought maybe you might suggest something that I may have overlooked. I saw the S&P500 Vanguard ETF, but my VUN ETF already has many of those companies. So it would be overlap. And the VDU gives me a world stock index. Maybe this is all that I need.


    • VDU is an international developed market index. It doesn’t include emerging markets.
      Why not just use the portfolio samples in one of my books or on the Canadian Couch Potato website? You should have exposure to the world.


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