Flights of Fancy Mom

I'm a mom with dreams.  I want to live my life with no boundaries.  One day at a time.

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?

22 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

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