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Old 12-20-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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What would you say was the most important thing you did to get yourself on track and able to retire?
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:51 PM
 
Location: The South
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Buy stock in good, major companies, that pay good dividends and have dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPS).For example, EXXON, Bank of America. There are many.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:44 PM
 
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I worked as much overtime as I could to pay off all my bills. I do not spend money on unnecessary things.

I started living within a budget based on the amount my s/s check will be down the road, and anything extra is invested or in a savings account. I am not a clothes horse and only buy clothes when I absolutely have to. I don't spend money on entertainement needlessly.

I DON'T support or give money to lazy relatives who want a hand-out.

Do I feel like I'm missing out on "things" or going places? Nope, not at all! In fact, I am darn proud of how much I've been able to save in just the last three years! I am on my own and doing all I can to ensure I end up with a roof over my head and food in the tummy. And I am very content. I may very well have to continue with part-time work for several years or more once the s/s arrives, but that's okay. I will do whatever it takes to survive.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Lovelock, NV - Anchorage, AK
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Continued to work for the state do to the benefits at a much lower pay than all others around me, but we now have retirment and they blew their money as rapidly as they could get it. If it wasn't for the money going into a retirement we would have spent it also.
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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i started saving late, and what has helped me is never get into any credit card debt; donate as much as i can to my employee-sponsored savings plan because if it goes in before I get the paycheck I can't spend it, plus it maximizes my employer matching. I too took a pay cut to go with a federal job because of excellent retirement. I choose to live in really cheap places, i.e. low rent because rent is my biggest expense. Put something in savings every every every paycheck and it adds up. I live very simply, cut my expnses way way way back to the basics.
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:13 PM
 
13,092 posts, read 13,691,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccarley View Post
Buy stock in good, major companies, that pay good dividends and have dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPS).For example, EXXON, Bank of America. There are many.

I have to disagree. Stocks are considered high risk.
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:42 PM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,565,364 times
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Got on the stick AS SOON as I realized I was late in the game. I don't mean a starvation lifestyle now to save for retirement, but doing the right things ASAP. For instance, I went back to a job that had the major benefit of an old-fashioned vested pension. I work full-time, although I could work less if I didn't consider the future.
My feeling is, if I'd done the right things earlier, I'd have a lot more options now. The one thing you can't correct is time passed, so the reason I have to hustle and be careful now is because I didn't do it before, and if I don't do it now, it'll be harder in the future.
I have a lot of very low-interest debt. I work on that while I save in my 403b, instead of vaguely thinking, I'll pay off the debt and THEN save for the future.
I don't indulge in vague or wishful thinking. A bad back injury without savings convinced me of that.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:29 PM
 
Location: The South
767 posts, read 2,003,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondD View Post
I have to disagree. Stocks are considered high risk.
Of course, you are correct. If you are only going to use NO RISK investments, its going to be tough to accumalate much.
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Old 12-22-2007, 04:18 AM
 
1,831 posts, read 4,796,860 times
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We're starting late in our '40s and ... the most important thing was going to work for state government (my husband already worked for the state also). Luckily, I didn't have to take a pay cut. They actually paid better than the private sector so it was a no brainer.

The state was the only employer that offered a decent pension with health benefits in retirement, at least in our area. Just about everybody else in my field had phased out pensions for new hires.

There was only one private employer who had a pension plan but, at one point, their plan was broke and totally underfunded. While they did refund the plan ... it made me too nervous to feel like I could count on it being there in 20 years. And the benefits weren't as good as the state so ... I didn't go to work for them.

And, of course, we're saving as much as we can through 401K and 457 plans (when you work for the government, you can do both). I work a lot of OT ... which goes into our savings. And, we're catching up my husband's contributions for his retirement plan with payments so he will receive full benefits for the time he's put in (right now he only qualifies for minimal benefits)

We've just basically put ourselves on a budget ... doing a better job of tracking where our spending goes and budgeting for stuff we need to buy (especially big items) ... instead of spending the money now and asking questions later.

In five years, most of our major debt is going to be paid off and we're going to dramatically accelerate our savings even more then.

Last edited by sheri257; 12-22-2007 at 04:36 AM..
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:51 AM
 
3,752 posts, read 9,605,753 times
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Here is my take:
#1 Get all your spending in control. This means make rational decisions on needs and wants based on finances not just impulses. Analyze each expense category to see if it is "correct" and you are not wasting money on it. For example, do you have an excessive eating out category? Make a rational decision on needs vs wants and see if you can change it. Ihear so many saying "I have no money" and see they have new cars, new clothes, the biggest house they could find, eat $100 meals out, etc.

We have a 10 year old car, a paid off a realistic house, buy some clothes at stores and some at garage sales, no new furniture for over 15 years, etc. We eat out at breakfast and lunch and avoid the costly alcohol. Have had a budget and monitored our finances for over 20 years and saved a huge amount in a variety of investments.

Others:

Make a plan and set some concrete goals to meet.

Diversify and take advantage of all opportunities for growth such as 401s that have a match. There are a huge number of people who throw away such money.
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