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4 Ways I am Saving For My Retirement

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I’m going to be as honest as I can be here. I am 44 (next week) and I am SO not prepared for retirement.  I don’t want to go the route a lot of elderly middle to lower-income families are going and work until I’m put in the grave. That is an injustice to those of us who have worked for years to enjoy retirement.

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Companies push the 401k plans or stock option plans as a way for us to take control of our future and allow us to retire as pension plans are no longer offered. I have 401k plan through previous companies I’ve worked with as well as my current company. But, the thing is, I don’t trust that I’m going to have that plan to retire on. I’m afraid that with the way the economy has bounced around, I’m losing more than I’m gaining.

I also have stocks with my current company. But, as with most companies now, I have to be here X amount of years to get it. For example, last year I had a bonus that was part cash and part stock. Which, as I started a new job, my bonus was much higher than I was used to.  But, my stock? Even though it was part of my bonus from 2015, I won’t get it fully until 2019. Ummm, what???  How does that even make sense? How are you going to hold me hostage for something I earned for being an employee?

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So, again, I don’t trust that I’m going to have the money to retire on. What am I planning to do to make sure I can do what I am entitled to do and live the last years of my life in peace and not working until I draw my last breath?

I’m planning to do the following:

Take Social Security at my earliest age allowed. Why?  Unfortunately, the women in my family in previous generations haven’t made it out of their 60’s.  Sounds kind of morbid, I know. And while I don’t smoke or drink excessively, I know I have health conditions that could still take me out in my 60’s.

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Put money away each paycheck. I know this is taxed money, but, so will my 401k when I cash it out when I retire. It may be taxed at a lower rate because of my later age group, but, with me putting money into a savings account instead of a 401k, I know that what I put away will be what is there when I am able to retire and can use it. If I’m able to save up several hundred thousand going into retirement, I’ll be happy. I know they say you should have at least a million saved to retire comfortably, but, let’s face it. THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Take on side jobs from my employment as a freelancer. I haven’t been at the same job for twenty some odd years. My 401k hasn’t been building since I was 18 like it has been with my older counterparts who will be retiring in the next five to 15 years. I’m not my step father who was lucky enough to retire 24 years before he died because he had a pension plan after being with a company for 35 years. I’ve been through job changes of my own decision and lay offs based on company decisions. Younger employees of today are not the same as they were back in the 80’s. That’s really when all that changed. Employees needed jobs, and employers knew that. But, I don’t feel a lot of the larger corporations value employees like they did back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

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Courtesy of retiretaxfreeamerica.com

Tiny Home living with no mortgage. After my daughter graduates, she plans to move away. So, I won’t need the home that most people dream of retiring in. I want to purchase an RV and travel while I’m working my Freelance business. I don’t need to purchase a big one. Just one big enough for me. That is one of the biggest bills a person can have. I don’t want to waste my money on a place that is too big for me when I’d rather have experiences than stuff. Two of my best friends who are married were one of the few couples I knew that made wise decisions.  They are my age and while they have two young girls, they budget their money strictly so they can retire when their girls go off to college.  They have no mortgage because of the decisions they made in their 30’s. I wish I were them! LOL. Don’t get me wrong. I am not jealous of them. They earned it and I’m excited for them! They are well on their way to being able to retire at the young age of 55!

Right now, my money is going to my teen daughter. She got braces this past year. She’ll be getting a car next year. She goes on to college in three years. Thankfully her father works at a University, so her education will be free. We’ll only have to pay her dorm fees, meal plan and books. And I’m NOT complaining about that. I had a child knowing full well the costs :).  But, even with all that, I’m still trying to put something away. And it is quite possible that I may never be able to FULLY retire. But, if I’m able to successfully run my business and become established as an author now, I should have enough passive income coming in that will allow me to pick what I want to do when I’m older on a part time basis instead of pulling in the old 9 – 5.

What are you doing to save for your retirement?  Do you think you will be able to fully retire?

44 Comments

  1. Jennifer S

    I’m only 33, but my husband turns 50 in the next few years… and we have nothing saved. I love the idea of him retiring and us being able to go see and do things… but we have some MAJOR changes to make if thats going to be possible by the time he’s ready to retire.

    Reply
  2. Paula Schuck

    These are great tips. If you don’t plan for the future now, you are going to regret it later. Retirement can be the golden years or terrifying. It’s up to us to choose which.

    Reply
  3. kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor

    I have a friend who is similar to your friends…she is 38 and will pay off her home in the next year! While we are ready for retirement when it comes, I’m still wishing it could be a bit closer for us (like my friend!). I really want to enjoy retirement and not have to stress over money at that age…such good tips!

    Reply
  4. Kristy

    Stressing over money when we’re ready for retirement is not something I want to do. I didn’t realize until the last few years, after talking with friends, just how much it takes to live after you’ve retired. I definitely want to be ready, and these tips were helpful!

    Reply
  5. Jennifer L Johnson

    I need to start saving for retirement!!! Love these ways I know I need to start something for myself this year but can’t decide on which.

    Reply
  6. Anita Anderson

    I could not agree with you more. I wish I had been told to save for retirement once I started working. I would have a nest egg that I could use for my future but alas I just started saving 10 years ago so I have a couple of more years before I can retire.

    Reply
  7. Brandy

    These are all great ways to have for retirement. Way to go! I so need to start thinking about all of that stuff .. ugh!

    Reply
  8. Ricci

    I have a retirement plan through my work that I am pretty happy with. They match me up to 10% and I have always put in 10% so that helps a lot!

    Reply
  9. Liz Mays

    I should definitely be thinking more about retirement! These are really good ways to put away some money.

    Reply
  10. Rebecca Swenor

    I actually only have my ex husbands retirement when he retires. It has been 11 years since I became disabled and I have am barely holding the roof over my head. Planning for retirement is so important and putting away money each pay check is indeed an excellent idea. I am talking from experience and warning everyone to be prepared for anything. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and tips.

    Reply
  11. Rika (@thedealmatch)

    These are great tips! I should be thinking about my retirement! I need to start saving and making more money

    Reply
  12. Jeanine

    I’m still a long way away from retirement but I think about it often and i think it’s smart to always think about and plan ahead!

    Reply
  13. Seattle Travel Blogger

    You offer some sound advice here.
    Saving is an important part of life.

    Reply
  14. Shannon Graham

    I agree with you, hard to feel like the money will be there with the government the way it is. Save save save–it’s the key!

    Reply
  15. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    Your tips are really great. One thing I learned is that retirement comes sooner than any of us expects it to. I wish I had put money away each paycheck.

    Reply
  16. Alison Freisz-Steward

    Every persons circumstances and what they hope to achieve at retirement are different, but I do agree that having all your retirement eggs in one basket is probably not a good idea so having multiple income sources to fall back on is a good idea for anybody.

    Reply
  17. Emma Spellman

    These are all awesome tips. We have nothing saved and it scares me sometimes. My husband has a 401k, but we need to get out of debt and start saving.

    Reply
  18. Jeannette

    I am constantly trying to find ways to save money for when we retire. We have some money and our 401(k), but I don’t feel like it’s enough so I’m always squirreling money away somewhere.

    Reply
  19. Jeannette

    I am constantly trying to find ways to save money for when we retire. We have some money and our 401(k), but I don’t feel like it’s enough so I’m always squirreling money away somewhere.

    Reply
  20. CourtneyLynne

    What great tips!!!! Never too soon to start saving. I’m in my early 30’s and I’m even saving a little bit!!!

    Reply
  21. Kendall Rayburn

    My hubby and I just had a huge talk about this the other night. I need to show him this post!

    Reply
  22. jennifer

    im at a time in my life where im having to move from risky to s more conservative approach. i am doing some of the things you mentioned, but others were great ideas i hadn’t thought of. thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  23. candy

    Between our investments and 401’s, plus having no house or car payment all should be good. We both have 2 retirements each coming in. Retired military for both plus second retirement from good companies. We have planned for this all our lives. Only the insurance which worries us.

    Reply
  24. Alli Smith

    It’s so important to think about retirement early. When I was in my 20’s, it never even crossed my mind. Now that I’m getting older, it’s something I think about more often. These are all great tips for saving for retirement!

    Reply
  25. robin Rue

    It is so important to start saving as early as possible. My stepson is 19 and I keep telling him to start a 401K, but he’s not listening….

    Reply
  26. Ady from VGB

    It’s SO important to save money for retirement! My husband and I are saving now for it and hopefully by the time we do retire we’ll have enough saved.
    Ady from VGB recently posted…What we can all do on International Women’s Day!My Profile

    Reply
  27. Risky Ladies

    I put away a little at a time every week into a separate account for retirement. I have 3 kids and a financial planner told me you can borrow for college, not for retirement.
    Risky Ladies recently posted…Polar Seltzer Ade…How Is It?My Profile

    Reply
  28. lisa

    My husband just hit the age bracket and time on the job to retire with his pension. He isn’t going to yet, but we are still planning to keep saving until he does retire. Our biggest issue is insurance. It’s so expensive.

    Reply
  29. Pam

    It’s so important to save for retirement. You definitely want to be able to live comfortably in your golden years.

    Reply
  30. Christy Maurer

    With the way the economy is, who knows if anyone will be able to retire lol. I’m hoping to just be able to keep doing what I enjoy. I like the idea of tiny house living.
    Christy Maurer recently posted…One Up Your Health with Nature Made Energy B-12 VitaminsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      Agreed! If we love what we do, we won’t mind working until the end lol. But I think that’s the sad state for over 60% of our country. I may not be able to, but I’ll supplement my early taking of Social Security with my freelance assignments.

      Reply
  31. Annemarie LeBlanc

    I can very much relate to everything you wrote. I have very little savings because of the costs of sending children to college. Two have already graduated and are gainfully employed. I only have one more in college and will be done in a year’s time. I may not be rich when that time comes, but at least, I will be able to relax and get a full night’s sleep. Hopefully, I get a best selling novel published and live on the passive income I will be getting from it.

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      That’s awesome that you only have one more year of college expenses! My teen’s father works at a university, so we do have the option of free education. But, told her, if you go to a school outside of the exchange system, the student loans are on you. You have the option of a free education and we will pay your dorm and meal plan costs, but I will not take out a loan for you to go to school lol.

      Reply
  32. David Elliott

    These are great ways to put aside for your retirement. I am working on this for myself right now trying to get freelancing work. Thanks for the great post.

    Reply
  33. Katie Kinsley

    I’m 29 and I feel like I have a good start on retirement, but I’m not sure! I hope that with my next year at my current company is that I can afford at add 5% more percent annually!
    Katie Kinsley recently posted…ZA’ATAR CARROT FRIESMy Profile

    Reply
  34. valmg @ Mom Knows It All

    We’re barely surviving week to week. We have fully accepted the fact that we will never be able to retire, but also know they’ll keep changing the laws making it later and later until it’s just gone any way.
    valmg @ Mom Knows It All recently posted…BLU-RAY REVIEW – Disney PinocchioMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      Exactly. And that’s why I’ve decided to take mine out within a couple of years of my eligibility. An unfortunate reality with most of the women in my family is that we don’t make it out of our 60’s. Granted, I think I have a higher chance because I don’t smoke, and am taking care of myself, but I do have high cholesterol that I’m trying to bring down with losing weight. I know I can have a heart attack. Now, that can be said of anyone. Fit or not. We found that out a few weeks ago with that fitness personality!

      Reply
  35. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    It’s so important to be saving for one’s retirement. Putting away money automatically each month is a smart way to build a nice nest egg.

    Reply
  36. Kita Bryant

    It’s always smart to prepare yourself for big changes like this. Sadly, companies truly don’t care about their employees and will make sure they themselves get the most out of something.

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      I couldn’t agree with you more. The companies today are not the companies our parents worked for, that’s for sure. My company had a town hall meeting several weeks ago. Something the CEO said just made me shake my head because it is so typical of today’s companies. He said, “Don’t ask what your company can do for you. Ask what you can do for your company.” Ummmm. That only succeeding in ticking me off and wanting to pursue my own freelance business even more!

      Reply
  37. Bonnie @wemake7

    These are great tips. Sadly, I don’t think I will have enough to fully retire the way things are going on for now. Hopefully it will change.

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      Unfortunately I feel the same way. There are days I’m just like, you know what? I’ll do what I want now and then let the state take care of me in my old age, lol.

      Reply
  38. rika

    Love these tips! I need to start thinking for my retirement. I’ve been saving my money and investing on property.

    Reply
  39. LaShawn

    Sadly not enough of us think about this anymore. I should be on track but LIFE!. Great tips though.

    Reply

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