NEW YORK (AdviceIQ) -- Why can't many Americans fund their retirement? Blame a fictional TV character -- or at least the spending mania he helped create -- and learn how to reclaim your budget and your future. Here's how.Don Draper, adman guru of the series Mad Men, symbolizes my culprit of our widespread personal debt today: Relentless marketing creating a consumer culture founded on shopping, buying and spending. Before World War II, most Americans saved prudently. Pent-up demand after the deprivation of the war years combined with America's emergence as an economic superpower to fuel new levels of affluence and a spending boom. Between 1945 and 1949, Americans bought 200 million refrigerators, 21.4 million cars and 5.5 million stoves. In the 1950s, TVs flew off shelves 5 million a year as their prices dropped. An increasingly shrewd advertising industry drove much new spending.
By Wes Moss
Not so now. Frequently booming economies, easy credit, technological advances and globalized manufacturing swamp you with more things to buy -- cellphones, iPads and flat-screen TVs, to name a few. Often you afford them. Often, too late, you see you can't. Online shopping also makes spending $10 or $1,000 easy as a mouse click. You likely give in to temptation, shucking your saver tendencies to consume and spend. In 2005, Americans socked away a mere 0.8% of their disposable income. savings hierarchy plan and retirement calculator and bring balance back to your financial life. -- By Wes Moss, chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and a partner at Wela Strategies, both in Atlanta. He hosts Money Matters, a live financial advice show on Atlanta's 95.5 FM and AM 750 News/Talk WSB Radio. His books are Make More, Worry Less and Starting From Scratch. He has appeared frequently on CNBC, Fox Business Network and on Atlanta-area television. He also writes weekly about personal finance in the "Bargain Hunter Section" for AJC.com, the site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Connect with Wes on Twitter at @WesMossWSB and on Facebook at Wes Moss Money Matters. AdviceIQ is a network of financial advisers that writes insightful articles for the public about investing and wealth management. All articles are edited by AdviceIQ's editor in chief, Larry Light. AdviceIQ certifies that all its advisers have no regulatory infractions. To subscribe to AdviceIQ's Rss feed for personal finance articles written by financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors,
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