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Old 08-13-2007, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
415 posts, read 2,160,263 times
Reputation: 284

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Ok, I have myself in a bad spot. I never learned the lesson of saving, I have never worked for a company who had a retirement plan. They did have 401K, but I would put in then take out and never managed to get anything going. So Now I am 49 yo, my wife is 52 we are looking at retirement in 10 to 15 years.
How will we ever have any money. Maybe just have SS and have to live off of that.
Any idea how we could jump start our situation. By the way we currently work and have an income in the 90k range, but have bills to match , so have little to no money to save each month
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:36 AM
 
3,752 posts, read 9,603,435 times
Reputation: 7044
Pull together all your financial data and do the following:

Determine what your present status is for every debt you own (how much, interest rate, etc.) and the value (general) of every asset. This includes a projection of SSA, any pension assets, retirement funds, savings accounts, etc.

Start immediately keeping track of every penny you spend.

Evaluate each expense and at the end of the year or each month or both review and determine what your minimum spending consists of.

You cannot develop a plan without information. Now you have the beginnings of information.

You need to figure out where you are and then discuss and try to figure out where you would like to be in 5/10/15 and more years and the various steps to move you to that direction.

There are abundant things you can do but each is based on your family's unique place and needs.

This is basic and there are a lot of books out there to help you with making decisions but you cannot make any good decisions without information.

I like Your Money or Your Life, Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, any of the Susie Orman books. Get them from your library.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:37 AM
 
3,752 posts, read 9,603,435 times
Reputation: 7044
One more thing, stop reading advertisements, getting magazines that contain advertising for popular things. Stop listening to the media telling you that life will be better if you buy..................

Best thing we ever did was to stop trying to be like everyone else. Buying will not make you happy but will put you where you are right now.
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Old 08-13-2007, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,579,200 times
Reputation: 5692
There is another great book for people in your situation and has some calculators to help you save some money. "Yes You Can Still Retire Comfortably." By Ben Stein. It helped us tremendously. You must take a vow of poverty right now and not when you are 70. Sell all your toys, do not take expensive vacations. You might even consider weekend jobs and stuff that into the bank. Start a little business. There are many things you can do to pay down your debt and start saving. You are not alone! Best of luck, but please check out his book.
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Old 08-13-2007, 09:25 AM
 
5,641 posts, read 17,312,650 times
Reputation: 3979
Consider doing something past official retirement, on your own, that would bring in extra income as well. Like selling things on ebay, working a part time job, consulting, freelancing, temp work through a temp agency, etc.

Retiring at 65 is not going to be do-able for many people. I likely will freelance or temp, until my health allows me not to.
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Old 08-13-2007, 01:31 PM
 
7,099 posts, read 24,496,068 times
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We started practicing living on what our SS checks would be. That gave us time to stop things like magazine subscriptions, eating out whenever the notion stuck. etc. I got in the habit of buying in quanity when food stuffs were on sale.

You have time to start putting money in an IRA account. You can easily put in the yearly maximum until you reach 65.

But most of all, quit thinking about retiring in 10-15 more years unless you think you would like to live on welfare later on. After you pay off those bills, contribute to an IRA, start SAVING. Put the extra money in your banks CDs. Don't try to make a fast buck with fancy get-rich-schemes.
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:57 AM
 
10,332 posts, read 9,376,947 times
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Default I can relate!

I will start collecting s/s at the age of 66; I am 62 now. Just the s/s alone will not be sufficient. I too did not save as I should have all these years. I am working full-time and putting as much as I can into our company's 401k plan (and they match 100% up to 6% of what I put in).

What I did was pay off all credit cards. I will only use a cc for emergencies now (car repairs, etc.). I do keep a budget and track everything I spend. I only buy clothes if absolutely necessary. I get haircuts at the "chop shop", no spa stuff...no manicures, etc. No going to the movies, I can watch whatever is on TV. I restrict all spending on social activities with friends to no more than one lunch out per month. There are many things anyone can do to have a good time that does not cost anything. I don't drive around aimlessly and waste gasoline. I put as much as I can each month into savings. I do not buy anything that is absolutely not necessary to survive.

Do I feel like I'm missing out on anything or that I'm sacrificing anything? No! I feel very satisfied that I am being so cautious.

Now, when I hit 66 and the s/s benefits kick in; I know I will still have to work since just the s/s alone will not be sufficient. But, it will be just part-time work and that is fine with me. I have been told that I should have a minimum of $500,000 in savings before I can retire...and I will not have nearly that much. But, I will make it!

I don't plan on traveling when I retire or spending anymore than is absolutely necessary. I just need a roof over my head and food to eat. I am definitely not materialistic and am very content if I stay in or go out.
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:17 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,185,395 times
Reputation: 4297
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
Start immediately keeping track of every penny you spend.
Ditto that.

I started tracking how much we spend a few years ago when we started talking about retirement. We both gawked when I laid out the monthly totals ("we spend how much at Target?! On what?! ") so I started keeping receipts as well so we could go over the kinds of fripperies that we really didn't need to buy and established a discipline to get over the "I wanna"s. It also helped to see what kind of expenses we wouldn't have once we retired: gas for two cars to commute to work, pet expense (5 dogs now and 8 cats. probably down to fewer once we retire -- if people would quit dumping their cats in our area. said felines seem to make a beeline to our house and we are too soft-hearted not to take them in), car insurance and taxes for multiple vehicles since we'll downsize to one, etc.

And double-ditto on the 401k and IRA suggestions. If you don't get it, you won't miss it. It also helps cut down your tax burden.

I wish I'd taken the advice I give to my 20-something co-workers when I was their age . I nag-nag-nag them: "one of these days, you'll be 40 ... 45 ... and start to realize that you are tired, you're burned out by corporate life, you really want to look forward to quitting. Only you'll see that you have no savings and probably face another 25-30 years of work. Then you'll wish you'd started saving decades earlier."
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Bayside, NY
823 posts, read 3,374,499 times
Reputation: 387
There are many web sites that have retirement calculators where you put in your living expenses and your savings, income, etc. and it tells you how much money you will need in order to retire. Unfortunately too many people are in the same position that you are and they will have to work for the rest of their lives to be able to live decently. It is never too late to start saving for retirement. Get into the 401k today. Start a Roth IRA. Cut out the unnecessary expenditures and start saving every penny that you can.

Make a list of your expenses and see which ones you don't need in order to live decently and cut them out.

Good luck.
I was about your age when I started seriously investing for my retirement. I am now 68 and retired and when my wife retires in two years we intend to sell our house and move out west where it's a lot cheaper to live than where we are.
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,807,188 times
Reputation: 6195
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkwing View Post
Ok, I have myself in a bad spot. I never learned the lesson of saving, I have never worked for a company who had a retirement plan. They did have 401K, but I would put in then take out and never managed to get anything going. So Now I am 49 yo, my wife is 52 we are looking at retirement in 10 to 15 years.
How will we ever have any money. Maybe just have SS and have to live off of that.
Any idea how we could jump start our situation. By the way we currently work and have an income in the 90k range, but have bills to match , so have little to no money to save each month
You immediately need to start saving at least 5% of your take home income, and increase it by 1% a year until you hit at least 10%. You need to put the money in a mutual fund with low fees and relatively safe return, such as Vanguard Wellesley Income Fund. You can look this up on line.

Overall, you can only achieve your retirement goal by starting to save today, especially if you have anything from your employer with a matching contribution. The saving I recommend you begin immediately, should be in the form of a Roth IRA account.

You will also need to significantly reduce your expenses to make a go of it for the long term, so unless your house will be paid off within the next 15 years (and I recommend pre-payments on the mortgage to dovetail to this if you own a home) you will need to relocate to cheaper digs.
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