Monday, July 25, 2016

What If You Are Older And You Haven't Saved Anything For Retirement?

On my Spendy Day post, I received this comment and question from Amanda:

"I'm very glad to read that your husband is doing better and will be able to get around more. You speak of having the money you need to afford things that are necessary because you have saved and invested wisely. However what if you haven't done those things? What can a person do if they are starting from zero and not young anymore or maybe with a low income job. Perhaps you already have a post on those situations?"

As you all know, saving and investing for your retirement comes down to how much income you don't spend on your monthly expenses. Before I write any further, read this post:

How Much Do I Need To Save For Retirement? 

Once you have figured out how much you need for retirement, then you can work out a plan. You will know how much you need to save every month in order to survive in retirement.

If you started saving when you were young, you are probably well on your way to a nice portfolio to cover your expenses. Years of compounding will give you a million or more.

If you are starting from zero and you are older, you are going to have to practice every extreme frugality trick that you can learn to save and invest as much as you can toward retirement. You may have to take a second job over the next few years to get there. If you are lower income and your income barely covers your expenses, you have to do both...increase your income and cut expenses. If you aren't able to take an outside job because of the cost of childcare, find other ways to earn income. Start a daycare, start a blog that you can monetize (study those who are making big bucks from their blogs and how they did it), write an EBook and sell it, set up a shop on Etsy, sell on EBay and Craigslist. I know many people who buy at garage sales and resell on EBay and Craigslist and make a nice monthly income. You have to research what items to look for that will bring in the big bucks. There are so many ways today with the help of the internet to bring in extra money.

I say it is never too late to save for retirement. If you start late in life, the more you can save the better off you will be when you do retire. Depending on when you do start saving, you may have to work into your late sixties until you can get your full Social Security and your Medicare for your health plan.

Don't throw your hands up in the air and decide you are not going to save because it's too late. That is self-sabotage. Do the work. It won't be easy but you will be better off in the long run when and if you do retire. It's a lot easier in your fifties or younger to do the hard work than being sixty five and not being able to afford your prescriptions or eating once a day because that is all you can afford. I do know people here in my town that have to live that way. It's not easy and really scary for older people.  

No matter whether you are young or older, you have to decide what it is important to you. Do you want to spend every penny you earn now or do you want to save for a good life when you are older. I have had people say to me " I may not live until I can retire so I am going to enjoy life now." You can still enjoy life and save for your future too. You don't need to go out to dinner two times a week. Go once a month and it will really be a treat. Go to a cheaper ethnic restaurant. There are so many ways to enjoy life and still not end up as a pauper in retirement. Quit the Starbucks habit. I could go on and on but I won't because I think most of you know how to do it. You just have to set your mind to the task at hand.

Mr. Money Moustache and others have saved enough in ten years+ to retire very young. I will warn you in advance that his language can be a little rough. Ignore that and there is a wealth of knowledge on his blog.  Those same ideas can be used to save up enough in your fifties or beyond to retire well. Here are a few of his articles that I think will help you:

If you enjoy any of these, he has hundreds of articles on his blog. So take a look at his whole list.

It isn't easy to cut your expenses or increase your income but it is necessary if you want to survive retirement. It takes hard work but to me the alternative of living without the necessary money is much harder and very stressful.

So start today to enrich yourselves not the companies that you do business with. Remember it isn't what you spend that will enrich you, it is what you save. 

Sorry that I didn't link them. I just didn't have the time today. Just cut and paste.


  1. Thanks for the links! I will check them out!

  2. I found him a few months ago and have been reading his articles. He has an engaging style and keeps the tips interesting..... But you are correct I get annoyed with his language choices. Thanks for addressing this. Hope you guys are doing well

    1. Hi AJ,

      We are doing well. Hubby is getting stronger every day and his bloodwork is looking better and better. Thanks for asking.

      He is engaging. He just doesn't post very often anymore. But for those who have never read him, there is a wealth of info.