How To Save More For Retirement If You Don’t Make Much Money

Hawaii Sunset* $180,000 by age 30

* $500,000 by age 40

* $1 million by age 50

* $2 million by age 60

These are the rough estimates for what I think everybody needs to have in their 401Ks or savings accounts to have a reasonable attempt at a comfortable retirement. Of course these figures aren’t set in stone and there are many other things you can do to help your retirement quest. I advise keeping an open mind and using these figures as targets.

If you read the comments from my “401K amount by age” article, you will notice that those in their mid-30s and below tend to disagree with these amounts, while those older generally agree, verify, and accept.

I don’t know why younger folks aren’t willing to follow along. It’s often times just rebel and justify why they aren’t saving.  “Live life!“, they say.  True, but who says you can’t live life while saving?  The easiest way to learn, is to listen to an older person who has gone through what you will go through. Perhaps it’s immaturity, or the way things are where every generation needs to question the next generation and the status quo.

There’s really no mystery to money. The more you have, the more you can make.  It’s all about building the NUT large enough so that when you make a fortuitous 10% return, you’re pulling in an extra $50,000-$100,000 on your $500,000-$1 million portfolio.  Get going so you can have more significant returns.

If you aren’t on retirement track based on my 401k age chart and disagree with my figures, just do the math YOURSELF and see whether you’ve saved enough to retire on. I don’t think you’re going to like the results.

There’s one question that kept coming up over and over again, and that’s, “How can I save so much, if I don’t make so much?” It’s a fair question that needs addressing. One commenter mentioned my table must be of “California Currency”, which made me chuckle. The problem of not making enough and therefore not being able to save enough is an honest problem which I’d like to address via a change in mindset and a chart.

HOW TO SAVE FOR RETIREMENT IF YOU DON’T MAKE MUCH

* If you don’t find it painful saving money, you’re not saving enough. If you’re not sweating at the gym and your muscles don’t feel sore the next day, you might as well go eat a double cheeseburger with a milkshake and fries because you’re just wasting your time. The same goes with saving. Since you’re in the lower income bracket, savings is not supposed to be easy. If you’re not feeling the disposable income pinch of putting away, 20%, 25%, 35%, 50% of your income into your 401K, IRA, or savings account, you simply are not saving enough. You need to feel the pain, so you are forced to change your spending habits.

* Recognize that you are not rich. For whatever reason, you do not make a lot of money. It could be by choice (messed up in school, less lucrative field) or misfortune (laid off, accident, starting over). Once you recognize you are of lower income, you’ve got to come to grips with the fact that retirement is not going to be filled with milk and cookies.  Think tasty water and crackers instead.  You’re going to be working longer and harder than others. You’ve got to save more than your wealthier friends simply because you have less.  If you only make $50,000 a year, what on earth are you doing driving a $25,000 car? That’s 50% of your gross income, and around 65% of your net income! If you guys only earn a combined $70,000 a year and have a child, what are you doing living in a 3 bedroom apartment that costs $2,500+ a month? Downsize to a two bedroom apartment and save the difference. A family of four in Tokyo live in 600 square foot, 2 bedroom apartments!  Don’t act rich, because you are not.

* Do the math. One commenter asked how he can put away $17,000 a year in his 401K and then another $5,000 in his traditional IRA if he “only” makes $70,000 a year. I told him to do the math. He did the math, and he did it all wrong!  This is what he calculated:

70k – 17k (401K) = 53k —> Fine. 
53k * 0.4 (taxes)= 31.8k —> 40% tax rate on a $53,000 income?
31.8k * 0.2 (after tax) =25.4k —> What’s this extra 20% tax?
25.4k-5k (Roth) = 20.4k —> Why contribute to a Roth after tax, when you can contribute to a traditional IRA pre-tax?
20.4k/12 = 1.7k per month. —-> Wrong.  Should be around $35,500 net = $2,960/month, 74% more than what is stated.

The effective tax rate on a $53,000 income is around 17%.  Add on 9% state tax, and at most he’s around 26%.  His Roth deduction is fine, if he doesn’t want to contribute $5,000 in a traditional pre-tax.  However, I always recommend paying less taxes than more.  I am shocked how little people understand what their effective tax rates are, and the difference between pre-tax and post-tax contribution. Do the math people. You have more than you think!

* The new normal is a lower rate of return.  Anybody telling you to input more than a 5% constant rate of return on your investments is being too aggressive.  The days of 8%+ portfolio returns are gone in an environment of 2% long-term treasury yields.  There is an inextricable link to fixed income and equities, and baking in more than a 2.5X return over the risk-free rate is a stretch.  We can increase our assumptions once we see an uptick in inflation, corporate earnings, and risk appetite, but not now.

* Realize that making more money is a choice, especially if you live in a developed country.  According to one researcher, it only takes around $34,000 to be in the top 1% of world income earners. Meanwhile, $33,000 so happens to be the middle line between the top 50% and bottom 50% of US income earners. You have a choice to work more than 40 hours a week to get ahead. You have a choice to have as many or as little kids as you wish. You have a choice to start a business and make extra income on the side. You have a choice to get in before everyone and leave last, while proposing new profitable ideas for your company.  You don’t have to be a top income earner, you just have to make enough to be happy and save.  We live in a free country, not North Korea.

* Acccept bigger government.  With a ~$2 trillion dollar deficit generated under the Obama administration, the incumbent is your best bet for ensuring that social welfare programs, unemployment insurance, affordable healthcare, and low taxes continue for the middle class.  By raising taxes on “the rich”, the current administration is effectively redistributing wealth to lower income individuals through government programs.  Republicans are more focused on cutting spending to balance the budget, and not raising taxes given our system already has a progressive structure already.  Both systems have its merits and flaws, but if you are making under $200,000 and your retirement accounts are light, from a financial point of view, you’re better off voting for the incumbent. At least you know what you’re getting.

A SYSTEM TO GRADUALLY INCREASE YOUR SAVINGS

Now that you’ve changed your mental outlook, here’s a proposed savings chart I developed to slowly turn the screws so that you get to your retirement goals.  Here are some following assumptions:

FINANCIAL SAMURAI RECOMMENDED SAVINGS RATE CHART


Income Level Savings % Pre-Tax Savings Post-Tax Savings Fed Tax Rate
<$25,000 5% <$1,250 $0 10%-15%
$25,000-$35,000 10% $2,500-$3,500 $0 15%
$35,00-$45,000 15% $5,250-$6,750 $0 25%
$45,000-$65,000 20% $9,000-$13,000 $0 25%
$65,000-$85,000 25% $16,250-$17,000 $750-$5,000 25%
$85,000-$100,000 30% $17,000 $8,500-$13,000 28%
$100,000-$150,000 35% $17,000 $18,000-$35,500 28%
$150,000-$200,000 35% $17,000 $35,500-$53,000 28%

Assumptions for the chart:

* No matter what your income level, you are saving some money.  Develop the savings habit early and always.

* As your income level increases, so does your savings percentage rate.  Challenge yourself to save more as you make more.

* It’s important to keep your rate of spending slower than your income and savings growth.  Don’t let lifestyle inflation derail your plans.

* After you have maxed out your 401K at $17,000, the after-tax savings is simply the difference in your income X savings rate – $17,000. The after-tax savings amount is higher than reality, because you have to pay taxes on the gross income. Hence, multiply your after-tax savings by your Federal + State marginal income tax rate to get your true after-tax savings amount.

* At around $65,000-$85,000, I am assuming you should be able to maximize your 401K contribution, and save more money. In other words, try and target $65,000-$85,000 in annual income as soon as possible.

* I stop at a 35% savings rate to allow one to enjoy their income.  Furthermore, at a 35% savings rate at $100,000-$200,000, you will have more than $5,000,000 in retirement savings if you consistently save for 43 years assuming a 5% constant rate of return.

* If you can save more than 35% of your gross income, go for it! After you earn $200,000, you should gradually aim to save 40-50% of your after tax income.  We stop at $200,000, because this is the level President Obama deems rich, although plenty of people who make more have difficulty saving a well.

FINANCIAL SAMURAI 401K RETIREMENT SAVINGS GUIDELINE RECAP


Age Years Worked Low End High End
22 0 $0 $0
23 1 $8,000 $17,000
24 2 $25,000 $45,000
25 3 $42,000 $70,000
30 8 $127,000 $182,000
35 13 $215,000 $331,000
40 18 $300,000 $521,000
45 23 $383,000 $764,000
50 28 $468,000 $1,075,000
55 33 $553,000 $1,470,000
60 38 $638,000 $1,974,000
65 43 $723,000 $2,618,000

CONCLUSION

The good thing about not making much money, is that you are used to living on not much money, and therefore you don’t need much money to retire on!  With the above assumptions and chart, I hope I’ve provided a guide for those who have wondered how they can save so much if they don’t earn much at all.  Savings should be an automatic way of life.  Always save money before you pay yourself.  That way, you will always operate in the confines of your disposable income.

Another good thing about retirement is that when you are retired, you do not have to save for retirement.  That 5-35% savings rate I discuss in my charts disappears, making you suddenly that much richer.  Meanwhile, you’ve hopefully paid off all your debts, and can live in your home mortgage-free for the rest of your life.  But, even if you still have a mortgage, or are renter, with the above system, you should still have enough money to support you until the end.

Please try not to make excuses for why you cannot save even just 5-10% of your pre-tax income in your 401K.  I lived in super expensive Manhattan on $40,000 a year and managed to put away $15,000 into my 401K.  $40,000 in Manhattan is like $35,000 in San Francisco, and only $25,000 in the MidWest.  You just have to make a choice whether you want to build a safety net for your retirement or not.  Hopefully you will continue to make more money the longer you work, making saving more money easier and easier.  You’ll wake up 10 years from now and amaze at how much money you’ve managed to accumulate.

It’s really up to you.  See you at the beach!

Recommendations For Increasing Your Retirement Potential

* Manage Your Finances In One Place: The best way to increase your wealth is to get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize. Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 28 different accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to manage my finances. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing, how my net worth is progressing, and where I’m spending my money. The best feature is their 401K Fee Analyzer which has saved me more than $1,000 dollars in annual fees I had no idea I was paying. There is not better tool I’ve found online that has helped me growth my wealth. It only takes a minute to sign up.

* Check Your Credit Score: Everybody needs to check their credit score at least once a year given the risk of identity theft as well as the fact that 30% of all credit reports are wrong! For over a year, I thought I had a 790ish credit score until my mortgage refinance bank on day 80 told me they could not proceed due to a $8 late payment by my tenants from two years ago! Check your credit score for free here at GoFreeCredit.com and protect yourself. A credit score is important for potential job opportunities and getting the best rates on mortgage loans, car loans, and credit card loans.

Photo: Oahu Sunset, 2012. Sam.

Regards,

Sam

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. Jon says

    Very good post! Even when I was a “poor” teenager working at Wal-Mart, I still managed to save 15-20% of my income. Now that I make much more, I’m able to save 50%. And it’s not even painful, which probably means I’m not saving as much as I could, right? :)

  2. says

    Nice blog, I agree with these views. I am a poor college student and I am 7k of debt, I am planning on selling my car to recoup some of that debt and I will start working eventually when somebody will give me a job that doesn’t require physical labor.

    Don’t look at me as if I am a loser I made in killing in the stock market from ages 13-16 but I spent all of that money in the first 2 years of college. I wasn’t able to keep up with both school and my classes and so it is all gone all I have left is my car.

    -i have already face the fact that I will be poor forever its the plight of the proleteriat

    -yes i was one of those kids who bought apple stock because my home room teacher told me to

    -yes i live a ignorant middle class imaginary lifestyle but it has come crashing down over the past few months

    -I am happy to say I was able to use some crude accounting tricks to dodge taxes and have only paid about $160 dollars.

  3. Robbyrobbb says

    I feel stupid for not taking my 401K seriously until I was 39. Now just turned 41 I’m taking it very seriously and have a plan to be able to “max out” by age 43. Right now I have a little annoying debt to take care of. I’m just praying to get to the 1 million dollar mark at 65. Not gonna be loaded but can at least be respectable and self sufficient.

  4. Jeff says

    I really like your advice. I was searching around about retirement, and I’m behind the curve. I’m active duty military enlisted and plan to stay to 20 years if possible given the environment. I’m also about 3 years from an electrical engineering degree. Saving is hard with a wife and 2 small kids, but I could probably put away at least 20% of my income right now. We live in the DC area right now and make probably 75k pre-tax. If I was working on the outside, it would be close to 90k including my allowances. People might say that’s huge, but rent and expenses in this are are outrageous. My goal though is finding not just saving but what to save in. I will probably put most into IRA and TSP (like a 401k) as that is what I know. Being as busy as we are, we need simplicity. My wife and I are both 31, hence being behind the curve. We currently have an investment property that should net about 100k once it is paid off in about 20 years, but have little else other than savings account and paying off our condo that we live in. I’m currently saving 10% and only have one car payment, but every year it gets harder.

    Like a couple other though, I did recoil at your command to vote for Obama. A head race to Greece style financial collapse is not preferable to me just to reap in the short term. $1.5 trillion a year in deficit spending does not make me feel any more confident about retirement. As for your rich comment, you could take 100% of what those evil rich are making and it won’t matter because Obama and Congress will not cut any real spending… the programs in place and imposed will spend more than that additional tax and more. All of our politicians should take your advice concerning public spending.

    I personally don’t count on Social Security as a form of future income in retirement. I believe it will be gone by then. For all those that gnash teeth about paying into it, they have to realize people now, especially in the middle class, take out of social security more than 3 times what they contributed over their lifetime. Couple that with all the IOU’s that have been replaced for the pot that was there, and there will not be anything left by the time us 30 somethings can draw from it.

    Sorry for the rant, just hard to believe someone with such sensible saving advice is toeing the “give me a hand out and sock it to the ‘rich’ while you are at it” line. What do you see as a good fire-and-forget investment for someone in their 30′s? I understand to go less risky closer to retirement, but as I plan to work until at least my 70′s, what is a good mix to invest in prime earning years?

    • says

      Jeff,

      On Obama, if you can’t beat him JOIN him and embrace the reality! Obama and Big Government will screw our future generations whether you like it or not. Hence, you might as well get on board and reap the rewards of big government. He’s not going to raise middle class taxes, and at the very least, you won’t be paying more.

      Obama will get re-elected. Unless you are making $200,000+, and more like $500,000+, it doesn’t make sense to vote Republican.

      You’ve got to read more posts on here to get my style of thinking and writing.

      Here are some:

      http://www.financialsamurai.com/2009/10/09/were-idiots-please-tell-us-a-flat-tax-is-not-fair/

      http://www.financialsamurai.com/2011/08/01/socialism-as-a-means-to-a-brighter-future/

      • says

        I am in my early 30′s and advocate a ROTH over a traditional pre-tax IRA for two main reasons. I believe taxes when we retire will be higher then, than they are today. FS i think would agree given the statement made regarding the possibility of Uncle Sam changing the 401k withdrawl penalty to a later age (59 1/2 to 80 – oh what fun that would be!). That was a new one to me but you never know really what is going to happen. ROTHs are your best hedge to increases in taxes from an account-type perspective as you will nit have to pay income taxes when you withdraw from it. They also have a nice feature that if you REALLY had to, you can withdraw your contributions without and penalties or taxes at anytime (any earnings or appreciation from those contributions cannot be withdrawn without penalty so only your orignal net contributions can be touched). I am not advocating ROTH withdrawls as i believe what you put in toward retirementnshould be used solely for that and therefore NO withdrawls but if you had an emergency it is nice to know your cash is not as locked up. For a fire and forget investment (this is als something i do not advocate as i believe all investments should be evaluated regularly, rebalanced, diversified etc on at least an annual if not quarterly or montly basis) but if you really had no interest in trying to prevent losses and wanted to only dollar-cost-average your way to retirement i would recommend a lifecycle fund aka target date fund. Go with an A-Share class mutual fund with a target date of when you plan to retire so for you it would be a 2050 or 2055 target fund. These mutual funds automatically adjust your stock and bond allocations over time so as you approach retirement your stock allocation will go down and your bond allocation will go up. I like that you have real estate in your portfolio as this investment category will do very well over the next 20 years. In fact real estate is one of the few sectors that is actually showing signs of improvement albeit slowly. Stock market performance even when adding in dividends pale in comparison to real estate over long periods of time unless you know how to actively trade, however active trading presents very different and arguably larger risks than long term real estate endevours.

  5. Lawrence says

    Great site.very informative.I am 32 with 5500.00
    Sitting in cash in a Roth Ira.I need to cash out to pursue
    Higher education and the tax implications are a little beyond me.
    I have depleted all contributitions so what is left is earnings.I am
    Not able to fund the Roth due to my income,but I do contribute 15%
    To my 401k.I am in the 15% tax bracket,does it make sense to cash
    Out Roth and pay penalty or stay in the Roth until I can afford to make
    Monthly contributions.

  6. Jacen says

    Hi Sam,

    I’ve really been enjoying absorbing all of the information on your site so far. Thanks for putting all this great stuff out there so that people like me can benefit from it!

    I was wondering what you thought was a good savings/investing strategy for someone in my position. I’m a 26 year old graduate student with at least another 5 years to complete my Ph.D. I have almost no debt (a few hundred in credit card, but will be paid off by the end of summer) and am on a stipend that covers most of my education costs. I also make around $1000/month in income from the stipend for living. However, I am able to save more than most in my shoes because I live in my parents’ house rent free. As far as I know, my university does not offer any kind of retirement accounts for graduate students.

    So, if I am still trying to save 20-30% of my income each month, where is a good place to put it other than a savings account? An ETF maybe? A regular savings account? Money Market?

    When I do eventually get a salaried position with a real income in 5-6 years, I will definitely be keeping your savings advice from this post in mind. Also, I really appreciate your optimistic attitude and outlook. You set a great example for those looking for guidance with finance/saving/spending behavior/shifting perspective/etc. I figure I will probably be behind your suggested savings guideline chart by about 8-10 years by the time I start saving anything significant (I will be 31 or 32 by the time I have a job and an income above poverty level), but I can still do my best to catch up!

    Best of luck with everything!

  7. Amy immermann says

    I just love urwebsite..and your information…thank you….I am self employed with dog business..80000 in stocks…that’s it..no debt..savings 10000…48 years old…I clear after taxes 1000 a week…I am not acting poor like I should….losing house..upside down on mortgage…my goal in 14 years have 3500 with retirement funds calculated at 6.5 return…just making the return to live on….should I just rent and save money? Or save to get a small…tiny house in a few years…..what Ira tool or savings tool could I contribute besides what I do now to save for retirement?…should I retrain for job?…even a job at 70000 doesn’t do better than what I get with the dog business now…unless their is more benefits to have with working at a company…ur advice would be quite helpful to me…..thanks….amy

    • says

      I think you should diversify your savings as you never know what could happen. It’s a bull market now in August 2014, but bad things happen all the time.

      Aim for singles and doubles, and not home runs. Good luck Amy!

  8. Amy immermann says

    Also I will get arnd 1400 at 62..1400 a month…I’m a widow….67…1750…that’s calculated in addition to my 3500 I’d have from retirement savings..I’d have each month…what should my mortgage or rent be….??? 25 percent of my income?

  9. Jill Davis says

    Umm, wow: For whatever reason, you do not make a lot of money. It could be by choice (messed up in school, less lucrative field) or misfortune (laid off, accident, starting over). Once you recognize you are of lower income, you’ve got to come to grips with the fact that retirement is not going to be filled with milk and cookies. Way to put down 99% of people.

    Yes, saving for retirement is hard, but when are people going to understand that MOST people aren’t full of money… that median income in the US is $51,914… that’s HOUSEHOLD income.

    WE NEED REAL ADVICE… not, you must have screwed up in school…

    • says

      Jill, you can blame me for not earning and saving as much as you desire, or you can look yourself in the mirror and admit the truth.

      I know the truth is hard to handle sometimes, but without knowing the truth, you will never change.

  10. says

    Regardless of income, financial independence is a choice that requires sacrifices, PERIOD. After reading this post, I checked our annual saving rate, and it is around %35+ range for the past few years. For my wife & I, financial independence started with paying off the house, so we just did that.

    • says

      Excellent work! Sacrifice is needed indeed. I venture to guess that even the most financial sacrifice, still pails in comparison to the real sacrifices others make in their lives in other countries. We have it good.

  11. AJ says

    People must have inheritances or something :-) I save 10% of my income and I have 12K in 401K and 21K in Roth IRA. I have scraped together 10K for a down payment on a house and have kept that in a CD for a few years, and it has made very little money. I have a midwest salary, maybe that is the problem. From about 24-30 I made 36K per year. When I was 31 I found a job making 45K. I am 32 years old. I feel like I am on track, but after reading this I do not. It can be difficult starting a new job and having to wait a year before 401K benefit and not being vested before leaving a job.

      • aJAbsstyle says

        Thank you so much for writing back. I was often thinking about how I was going to come up with all that money to be on track. I may not be as far off as I thought because of the Midwestern location. I have doubled my savings rate to about 20% of my take home paycheck and I am feeling pretty good about that. Hopefully I get a raise and can retire at about 57 as I had hoped :-)

        • says

          In my opinion everyone is different. To compare yourself to a chart may hurt more than help. Take for example how you felt better when the midwest factor was brought back into the equation. It may be easier to think about what percentage of your current income will you need annually to live comfortably in retirement. These things we speak of are so relative you cannot really put it into a chart. For example what does “confortably” mean, or to save enough so it is painful and hurts in the short term, in exchange for better fruits in the future? Since that is tough and also things can change as life passes you may want to reverse engineer things and make a plan from there. Some financial advisers state one can live on 80% of their current income in retirement due to hopefully not having a mortgage at that point etc. Others say one should go ahead and expect to save enough to replace 100% of their current annual income in order to have the same standard of living. Since we don’t know what the tax structure will be, let alone inflation leading upto and during the years of retirement this is why FS calls to max everything out and pretty much save as much as you can everywhere you can. If you believe retirement is the biggest priority in life and can sacrafice standard of living for the 25-40 years of work leading upto retirement that is a very personal choice. I would rather take one small vacation every year, than no vacations at all so i can enjoy life during my working years for example. Here are some variables i have considered: what age would i like to retire? (when running the 401k calculators you will find maybe working 2-3 more years than expected could boost your account value hundreds of thousands if not millions). Take the average lifespan of your gender and consider how healthy your lifestyle is, and how healthcare will likely offer bumans the ability to live a bit longer in the future. Decide if you want to pass any money to your heirs or if you only need enough to live for your own lifespan. Decide what percentage of your current income would you need to replace in order to live the lifestyle you envision in retirement. Run those 401k, and IRA calculators on a regular basis to ensure you’re on track. Be sure to account for tax brackets on your 401k, and disregard the tax brackets for any ROTHs. Be sure to compare those numbers to a drawdown calculator so you can see what your account values will provide on an annual basis which will give you the number of years the acount value will last, or will give you the amount per year it will provide based on a static years in retirement number. And for the scary part be sure to include 2-3% annual inflation!! Once you account for both income taxes from withdrawals, inflation-adjusted valuation, and expected lifespan it should give you an idea if you’re on track. The next step is to learn about the markets: equities, bonds, commodities, currencies. Things that can affect your account values and tools that can be used to protect your gains, or increase leverage if that is what is needed. All the work will be for nothing if you can’t replicate the “rate of return” assumption that these calculators call for. Education is your best tool for retirement, never stop learning so you can protect your gains and position for sdequate risk management later in life. If you’re younger you can take bigger risks that is why i like stock options although they are not for the weak stomach. Real estate is a very good long term investment. I recommend reading crash boom by greg rand as he provides i nice perspective on the current opportunity and in real estate and investment property. Good luck to all.

  12. Chris says

    Is there any other options other than Roth IRA ( dont trust the government that they wont tax me in the future ) Maybe I am wrong but I thought that the government made the same promises on social security not being considered taxable income which it is. Are you 401k figures over inflated to cover the tax you will need to pay out of your NUT ( 401k is not tax exempt but tax deferred? Is there tax exempt saving tools that would be more tax favored than 401k?

  13. says

    So my husband and I both work at jobs that do not offer retirement options — and don’t pay much. His salary is deposited directly into our checking account monthly, and I get a check weekly. In both our cases the taxes are already taken out. How do we put pre-taxed money into an IRA?

  14. Cindi says

    Any suggestions for a newly divorce 45 yr.old working two jobs and trying to figure out how much to invest and where to invest to have a little something in 20 plus years???? HELP

  15. says

    Check my entry a few comments above and i’ll try to respond if you have any questions. I found this site a while ago but just happened to stumble back to it tonight and decided to begin commenting. Hopefully the samurai is ok with my comments :)

  16. says

    @Cindi

    Check my entry a few comments above and i’ll try to respond if you have any questions. I found this site a while ago but just happened to stumble back to it tonight and decided to begin commenting. Hopefully the samurai is ok with my comments :)

  17. Milan says

    I really loved your articles and the stern tone of disciplined saving. It is worth Re-reading again when you feel you deserve to spend large sums of money on things like car

    • says

      It’s up to you, but probably best not to since you have to live somewhere. If you have more than one house, and can sell another in retirement to extract the equity, then yes.

  18. Island Hopper says

    I have read both articles (stumbled on through Google) and while I was shocked at first, after crunching the numbers think it is do-able, and you offer sage advice. I am 42 and I am living on a tropical island making ~50k tax free. Looking at the 300k goal for my age it was disturbing to say the least as I was 40 with no savings aside from two small pensions from previous employers. What made it do-able was taking the 25 years left and seeing how much/ year I would need to make the 723k (2,461/month) and I can do that! It might hurt a little, in that, for the last 3 years I have only been putting away $1200 a month, and I definitely don’t have the $43000 difference between the two contribution levels squirreled away. Therefore, some drastic cost reductions are needed. I can still island hop if I trim the fat elsewhere.
    I do thank you for posting these articles as it is tough to figure out what a person realistically needs to save for retirement.
    Dave

    • says

      Sounds like a good life! Which island, and how is your 50K tax free?

      Glad you enjoyed the article. I’ve got a house in Hawaii that I plan to live in for 3-6 months a year myself!

  19. brandon says

    I was just starting to enjoy your savings guide & some of your other articles until I got to the part about saving for retirement if you don’t make much money and needing to vote for Obama to continue the prosperity of the middle class. Obama is AGAINST the middle class. Raising taxes on the rich will not solve anything. Re-distribution of wealth is not the way to go. If the companies & business owners “the rich” are not making money then the working man “middle class” is not making money. We are seeing companies closing their doors all accross the mid-west due to higher taxes & increased gov. regulation. Fewer companies =Fewer jobs. Re-distribution of wealth by raising taxes on the rich & passing it on down the line will not help the middle class at all. It will simply fly right over our heads and be handed down to the freeloaders that abuse the system with Welfare & Food stamps. I’m not saying that I am against federal assistance for the needy with the key word being NEEDY, but the majority of the people that get federal assistance such as Welfare are just abusing the system & do not want to “better themselves” by any other way than reaching into MY (and any other working persons) pockets!

    Other than that a lot of the other stuff you wrote about saving for retirement makes some sense. Have a nice day

  20. Marc says

    Yes, lets put more money into the hands of bankers who rape you, lets put more money in places that are regulated to death…you cant take money until 59,60,63,69,70,80…etc etc, oh, and when you take it there is a new 5% social tax….sorry! Listen folks, it all sounds good now but remember its all paper. A dollar saved 100 years ago is worth 4 cents today, and that rate of decline in value of the dollar is increasing faster than ever. Spend now, risk now to make a return now and live your life now, and what little you do save put it somewhere other than in a bankers hand, if YOU cant hold YOU don’t own it.

    And no, I’m not poor, not even the slightest, and yes, you can do it as well, just buy a laptop and fire up Google, there’s terabytes of ideas/suggestions/business/opportunities to make money on.

    • Michael says

      How would you recommend saving for a 401k or 457 if you are a public sector worker who participates in a pension plan? I make 38,000 a year and pay just over 10% into a pension plan. I started a 457 contributing 4% pretax and 1% Roth. Changed that to 5%/2% and just recently again to 12%/2%. How much should I rely on a pension? I realize this is unique given the availability of pensions in the U.S.

  21. JJ says

    Does this equation change if you invest in a business or real estate. I have a regular job and I only save 3% in my 401k. The majority of my money is invested in real estate. For example, I have more than 5 rental properties (several are paid off) that generate <30k per year (after expenses). The money from the rentals is re-invested to purchase more homes. I also have a business that generates <20k per year. This money is re-invested into either the business/real estate.

    • says

      Sure, the equation changes if you are making 50k a year.

      Divide 50k by a realistic risk premium of say 3% and you’ve got a retirement nut of around $1.65 million.

      Why not max out the 401k first?

  22. drea says

    Great article except for one consideration for the likes of me: student. debt.

    My conundrum for the few months I’ve had the funds to contribute to 1. my emergency fund 2. retirement AND 3. paying down my debt has been how much, or, what percentage of my income each month should I be putting towards each? I have $11k left in student loan debt (my only form of debt), I contribute $500/mo to our (my husband also contributes about $600/mo) emergency fund and $200/mo to my consolidated student loan. I have the opportunity to increase that amount by about $800/mo to any of these 3 places and I’m trying to figure out which one should get the gold. My instinct is to put it towards my loans, pay those off in a years time and be done with it but my total savings is grossly under what you have listed as where I should be by the time I’m 30 (I’m 28 now and hope to have around 30 – 40k by the time we’re 30).

    Any recommendations for where my $800/mo surplus should go?

    • says

      Drea,
      I recommend open an Ally account, make it a Roth IRA and place your emergency fund in the no penalty CD of .84% You can draw out principle from a Roth at any time, (not the interest). You want to do this so that you don’t lose a year of Roth contribution. Once your debt is paid off and you have additional money you can always place outside money into a no penalty CD as emergency, than rollover those CDS to investments. That way you will have additional money in your Roth.

  23. Math Major says

    Hey,

    I have a question. What if you do not like any of the investments that your company is offering in a 401k plan, or think you can do better yourself?

    Also, does putting money in a 401k plan lower your tax bracket? For example, if I make 60k and I put the full 17 into the 401k, would I have the same tax bracket as someone who makes 43k?

    Please let me know.

    Thanks

  24. says

    Great write up! I just spoke with a friend who lives in Manhattan. His family never made more than $75000 combined in the last 12 years. Yet he has has managed to save over 50% consistently. In this 12 short years, my friend bought a small condo and, today, he took over a small restaurant.

    You can save 40-50% once you decide to do so because you will adjust your expenses to make it happen.

  25. says

    Sam,
    If you have a big mortgage in an expensive state and NOT maxing out 401K and Roth you can’t afford your home. Our mortgage with insurance is 25% of our income, but I still felt we couldn’t afford it with maxing out two 401Ks and Roth IRAs. We rent downstairs out, we rarely see the tenants. The only drawback is we lose our backyard. Only in America is a 2500 sq ft house on a 10000 sq ft for four people is average, yet the cost of maintenance for that prevents them from maximizing their retirement accounts. The worst part is once a calendar year passes you lose a year of contribution.
    Rent out rooms, build a garage or back extension for additional income. You’ve been to other countries, the rest of the world live in much smaller homes with multiple people. Problem now is my wife is itching to take the rental check and buy her an LV bag.

  26. says

    Hey Sam,

    May question is this….if you can and are willing to put the $17K in your 401k but the options there suck what should you do? I mean I get better returns in the stock market but I am missing the tax savings.

    Also how do you combat when people spend so much money on themselves. From cars to wanting extra spending money that could all be going to 401ks and savings. If its your parents or spouse how do you get them to see the light so to speak?

  27. Steve says

    Sam,

    I agree with your concept. Just wanted you ask a few questions. The average college grad comes out with $20 – $25k worth of student debt. They also have typically another 5k or so in credit card debt. I think the average salary for a 2012 grad was around $40,000. Starting our professional careers, most of us are typically at least 20k in the whole. If you took federal financial aid, there is no real benefit in paying off student loans early. The interest rate is fixed, and you even receive a discount if you have it auto-deducted from a checking account. Not to mention the fact that you can write off student loan interest on your taxes.

    What is your reccomendation for tackling student debt/debt in general vs. saving. I have an average salary (50k). I put 8% into a roth 401k, (company match is 5%) This is about as much as I can afford as I try to windle down Credit Card debt. I’m doing my best to save and want to maximize that for my future, while also reducing debt at the same time. Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Steve

    • says

      Hi Steve,

      Welcome to my site! I’m glad you are at least contributing to your ROTH 401K currently. I don’t know your entire financial picture, and your cost of living, but my suggest is to TRY and increase your 8% savings to 10% and see how you feel.

      Slowly turn that savings notch up until you feel PAIN. After a while, you will start getting accustomed and do what you can to make yourself feel better e.g. cut down on expenses, stop accumulating CC debt, realizing that true pain is starving on the streets.

      Also, ask yourself why you have $5K in CC debt. Was it for necessities or desires? You’ve got to cut that out and not having revolving CC debt.

      Sam

  28. astrid says

    It might be better if you are more careful with you recommendation of contributing to an traditional 401K vs Roth401K or just Roth because some, for example people in the military, have tax exempt income which leaves the effective tax rate lower than when they will retire. In this case a Roth is better since the Taxes then will probably be more, especially if you have a big nest egg to draw from when you retire. Our income for example is about 120K, due to some income not being taxable our actual “taxable” income is 86K and after all the detuctions our tax rate is only 9%. Do you think we will be at a 9% tax rate in 35years when we retire? We are mid 20′s with one spouse in military and the other having professional career.

    • says

      Are you talking federal, state, or combined? Sure, why not? Move to Hawaii and your pension (giving you are talking military) has no state tax at all. Several states are like this.

      Do what you feel is right. Saving is better than no saving. I cannot know everybody’s individual case, and whether they have a sweatheart deal from the gov’t, have carried interest income, an inheritance, a pension, etc.

      The point is to save.

  29. jairus mcallum says

    i agree with the story but the obama part i heard enough from alot of these ignorant ass people. i see yall not talking about bush and how he didnt know what the hell he was doing while in office.

  30. Meredith says

    For all the rules and advice, I think it alls comes back to determining what’s important to you. Like someone said on another post, Gen Y we’re happy with internet connection, our iPhones, and then in my case a Starbucks coffee (killing someone due to caffeine withdrawal will def put a hamper on future earnings and retirement savings).

    The H and I make more than this guideline, $170K/ year pre-tax. But with our budget we will save a little less than $50K next year between 401K (not including employer match), IRAs, savings, and other investments. I’d like to save more, but one of those judgement calls of things thats important to us is being active. And our food bills run us like another mortgage at ~$900/ month. Could we cut that down some and invest it, yes. Would we be happy if we did, no. So we make sacrifices in other areas. Like not buying a lot of expensive clothes, and both driving cars that are 7 years old and each have 100K+ miles on them.

    I think savings should “hurt”… but maybe not on the stuff that is integral to who you are and what TRULLY makes you happy… Let it hurt on the other stuff.

  31. ichiban says

    In my humble opinion the RothIRA is the best saving vehicle there is….except the 5k/yr limit.

    5k/yr. after tax money
    30 yrs. earning FS’s est. of 8%/yr.
    Indiv. investment of 150k over 30 years
    Your TAX FREE money at retirement age of $561,461

    If your finances for investing for your future are tight, I think this is a good plan….

    First, if your company matches a 401k contribution and pays for the management fees, do the max employer match contribution first…..that’s an instant 100% return on your investment.

    Then max out your own and your wife’s(if married) Roth before investing any more to your 401k.

    IMHO it’s also a matter of government stability. The Roth IRA tax advantage isn’t a “right”, it can disappear at any time.

    • Ilma says

      I make less than 15,000yr and pay rent and other bills. Now, I am over 50 and work less than 40 hours, and don`t have any savings.
      I would Like to know if it is not too late for some retirement plans.
      Roth? or 401k ?

  32. Matt says

    I am new to the corporate world having just graduated in May, but was lucky enough to find a decent paying job that I started in August at 42.5k a year. My question to you is that there is no way I could max out my 401k each year, not saying that I’m not saving I put 10% with a 7% match, but I am saving for a home so need to invest my savings in something a little more liquid than a 401k. That being said I do still spend a lot of money on having fun, a lot to due with the fact that most of my friends either dropped out of college or are just working part time jobs. I will say that my plan is to increase my 401k contribution everytime I get a raise, which if histroy holds true should be around 3% per year depending on economic conditions. I also am eligable for a 5% bonus every April depending on how the company is doing, which currently would be just over 2k. I plan to add 2k to that each year and load it into a Roth. Given my circumstances, would you consider me on track (also no debt)

  33. mysticaltyger9 says

    I have to say I have to agree with the recommended savings percentages for those on lower than average incomes. I live in the high cost San Francisco Bay Area (not as expensive as SF proper, but still one of the higher cost parts of the already high cost Bay Area). I made 45.5K in 2012. I saved $12,725 in my 401K plan last year…so my income was on the low end of the 45K-65K range yet my savings was on the high end of the range for my income level.

    It can be done if you:

    –Don’t have kids, or at least don’t have them out of wedlock. That’s financial suicide.
    –Don’t drive new cars. (Mine is 16 years old and runs fine).
    –Live in a studio or shared housing instead of a 1BR apartment.
    –Keep the food budget resaonable. Stock up on things on sale. I still eat out at moderately priced places 2X per week (usually for lunch, which is cheaper).
    –Skip the Cable TV. Most of what’s on is junk anyway…and almost all of it has too many commercials. You can get DVDs from the library, watch stuff on YouTube (My 42″ TV screen is hooked up to my PC. I have wireless mouse & keyboard), or get NetFllix.

  34. says

    Having variable income is the hardest part for me. I don’t feel comfortable contributing to my retirement accounts throughout the year as I don’t know how much income I can anticipate and I may need that emergency money if things get rough. Instead, when I book a new gig, I calculate how much I’ll make and then figure out how much I can afford to deposit into my IRA. Thus far I’ve been able to max out my ROTH each year. (The 401 k is a bit trickier as I only get contributions when I’m working and not from all employers).

  35. Ray says

    Hi First of all let me tell you, Love your blog…
    Me and my wife make combine income of 180K gross. I am 40 and my wife is 34. I have been contributing on my 401k for last 12 years and since last 3 years i am maxing out my 401k. My wife she started working 4 years back also has 403(b) and 457 plan and we also maxing out on both the plan. So total of 51K we are saving Pre-Tax. Do you feel we putting too much in pre-tax? We also religiously put in both Roth-IRA and 529 Plan (2 kids). I have few Individual stocks but not good planing on Post-Tax Saving Plan. Do you have good suggestion on Post_Tax Saving other than Saving act and CDs. I also have 250k mortgage and was thinking of paying it off early (5-7 years), not sure if that is such a good idea. My goal to semi retire @ age 55 want to start my own realestate and have wife working till her age of 55 (i will be around 60). We like to travel and have steady retirement income of 200K/yr. Love to hear from you.. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Ray,

      Welcome to my site and hope you’ve subscribed on the top right. I don’t think you are putting too much pre-tax at all, b/c I don’t think maxing out our pre-tax vehicles is enough.

      Best, Sam

  36. says

    My wife’s Retirement Plan is for me to work till I drop so she can collect on my life insurance plans.

    All kidding aside, I’m impressed with Fidelity’s Retirement Planning Services, tools / calculators and I’ve spent considerable time looking at my numbers under various inflation, investment return and longevity.

    My biggest retirement concern is when De Blasio was elected as Mayor of New York City this past November. We are already taxed to death by City, State, Federal, Sales and Property…….and our soon to be elected Mayor is promoting the socialist concept of taxing the rich. I don’t consider myself “rich” but I do believe that I will be caught up in the desire to level the playing field.

    God help us!

  37. Jack R. says

    I am 62 yrs old, I lost everything last year (long story). I have 0 to retire on, no savings. I am still working and expect to continue working until I’m physically able to. I make $52k per year. Can anyone please help me devise a savings plan to help me retire someday. Thank you all for your suggestions.

  38. Ap999 says

    I am saving till it hurts and then some. I calculated that for the past two years I was able to save 100% of my earned income. I’m happy to say I managed to live off my passive income only basically for the last two years. Feels like a little bit of a accomplishment! Current checking, savings and retirement accounts are totaling about 362k as of today according to personal capital. I turn 30 this year and plan on keep going strong!

  39. fakecountry says

    Um… the title of this article is “How To Save More For Retirement If You Don’t Make Much Money” and then you begin by saying that by age 30 I should have saved $180,000.

    How in the hell do you save anywhere near that amount if you don’t make much money???

    You people have no idea what it’s like in the real world for people who ‘actually’ don’t make much money, do you? Thanks for nothing.

  40. ZAHIR SHAH says

    This is quite useful information and I love it.
    my income is 25000 INR per month and at the end on month i end up spending all money and could not able to save the money. Now, i am 29 yrs old now. Please help me with the saving Techniques.
    Looking forward asap
    Thank you.

  41. Man I Didn't Like the Tone of This Article says

    “Choose to have as many or as few kids?” So let me get this straight: I should eschew having children, drive a 1989 Honda that breaks down 3 times a year because I don’t make payments on it, live in a studio shack that costs a pittance and never work out at a gym or go out to dinner….all in the name of having a comfortable retirement? Wow. SO what else did you spend your 20′s doing? Have you picked out your coffin? Did you go with silk or was that too extravagant, wouldn’t want to spend more than you have to after all and it’s not like you’re gonna be alive to enjoy it! Seriously, I get that it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re taken care of once you’re too old to take care of yourself. Even more important if you’re such a tightwad you didn’t even have a family, because then you’re going to have to PAY for people to make sure you take your medicine and don’t wander out into traffic. But lets not lose sight of the fact that, no matter how long you hope your “retirement” years are, they aren’t guaranteed to everyone. Life IS short. Fill it with what matters. And I don’t need to point out the fact that working out is good for you, right? Taking care of the body that actually DOES the work will probably increase your ability to be USEFUL during those elderly years. Gah. I hope I never get old and think I know everything about being young.

      • Man I Didn't Like the Tone of This Article says

        It’s just, I’m really struggling with a lot of financial information getting chucked at me at once. My husband and I are 28 with 3 kids. On one side, you get a lot of mud slung at you over whether you’re saving for your children’s college educations and a whole lot of judgey parent crap like “Blah blah blah don’t you care about your kids at all!” On the other side, you’re realizing “Hey, 30 isn’t really that young in terms of How Much Have You Set Aside For Retirement?” I’m still not done with my own college education, I chose to spread it out over my 20′s rather than incur student loan debt. I’m 8 classes shy of a BA that we have paid for out of pocket and through grants and scholarships. He’s in the army for now, finishing his own degree as well, but isn’t 100% sure the army is where he wants to stay. And we’re enlisted not commissioned, so we’re a one-income family of 5 bringing in about 54K a year. I know once all the kids are in school and I’m ready to re-enter the workforce, he’ll be able to contribute a lot more and so will I. But where we’re at now, “living it up” is a bit of a stretch when describing our lives. We go nowhere. We do nothing. We live off of approximately 1800 dollars a month after bills, which goes faster than I’d like it to and even faster when we plunk some money into our personal savings account, which gets raided yearly due to some issue or another: Dishwasher crapped out, termites, whatever. The house we bought last year has needed some work, and since we want it to be there for us 30 years from now it’s not like we can put it off. It’s probably very easy to look back with 20/20 clarity on how you could have spent differently or saved better. But in the trenches, it isn’t as clear-cut and doesn’t boil down to concrete figures. Besides which, I have real concerns about the economy and where that money even goes. What if the market crashes? Will we lose everything? Will we have forced a savings plan to work in an already overextended budget, for nothing? My husband has a thrift Roth IRA through the army, they don’t match contributions and up to now we have contributed very little (like, 1%). He’s getting a promotion, we plan to bump up a few percentages. When I start working, we’ll seriously ramp it up. But will our money be safe? Didn’t a bunch of people lose their retirement savings during that big crisis a couple years back?

        • says

          Thanks for sharing. I think it’s great you will be finishing your BA, and I believe you’ll have more opportunities upon graduation.

          The key is diversification. But it first starts with saving aggressively. Raise those percentage points for saving until it hurts so good. Then raise it again. Diversify into stocks and bonds. We had the worst crash ever in 2008-2009, and now the markets are at record highs again. Stay the course, and I strongly believe you will be fine!

  42. says

    I agree with your figures and mindset fully. It’s very sad but there is a large number of people who were simply not taught ANYTHING about money, credit, savings, etc. by anyone in their lives. Even today, many parents act as if talking and educating their children about it is taboo when they are doing nothing but forcing their kids to learn the hard way by making mistakes rather than going out into this modern money based world informed and proactive.

    This is exactly what I and a number of people that I know experienced and we unfortunately are not the only ones. Many years were wasted on mistakes that I would have easily avoided had my parents had simply given me the information needed. We cannot forget there are some lackluster parents who fall down on the job. Sure after a certain age we are responsible and ignorance is not an excuse, however, there is also no legitimate excuse for parents to have children they do not teach and lead by example. But still it happens. I will never understand why people bring children into this world and neglect important areas of their life and growth. Sad.

  43. Claire says

    I am going to respectfully disagree with your figures for the younger crowd. In my first 8 working years post-college (so, the ones leading up to the 30-year-old mark), I made an average of $26,000 a year (considerably less at the beginning, considerably more at the end). As you point out, median worker income in this country is around $30k, and younger folks tend to make considerably less than older folks. I say all this to point out that my situation is not atypical: my income for my age over those years is a little bit low for a college graduate, but not that low–my guess is that if I were to have direct access to the pays stubs of all my college friends for all those years, my average would be firmly in the middle of the pack.

    During those 8 years, I was able to pay off all my student loans, my car loan, and save some (more than your recommendations for percentages for my income levels over those years), but I didn’t just fall short of your recommended 180k by age 30; I wasn’t anywhere close). My grand total at that point was $22k in a retirement account plus $14k in an emergency fund. I could have saved another $10k were it not for a medical issue that drained my emergency fund at one point, forcing me to restock it, and of course one *always* could have done more, but if you run the numbers, you can see that not even your “low end” $127k was in my reach. (I had roommates; I bought almost all my furniture from thrift stores; I had exactly one expensive vacation that cost me $3000).

    I agree with you that saving is an imperative (and I think I have done that); I just don’t think your numbers are really for people who “don’t make much money,” especially when one considers how incomes tend to vary with age (with even college-educated 25-year-olds making considerably less than the 40-year-old versions of themselves).

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your story Claire. I really appreciate it. I’d love to hear more of your perspective on your peers who are in this income range and how much they’ve saved, and how you/they plan to save some more and eventually achieve financial independence. If you have any desire to write a guest post and try your hand at blogging, let me know!

  44. whitney says

    Thanks for this chart. Im a low earner and I always thought it was bull, that when our supplemental insurance guys would come and say, “oh you will only being paying x amount out of y so you will be saving pretax”. That only works if you are in the higher earning brackets. There is no saving when your paycheck is already low. My check is reduced by the full amount of the premiums even though I do pre-tax my contributions(health insurance, 401k, and supplemental).

  45. Jim Nic says

    Hi Sam,

    I found your site by accident while surfing at 3:00 am (not sleeping because of a toothache); and while reading your followers’ replies, I zeroed in on Jack R’s reply of February 13, 2014. I, too, have the same story to tell… But my desire is that it will be looked at [by your readers] as a story about ‘hope and what happens, when you never give up’.

    I will be 64 in November of 2014 and here’s my story:

    Back in our ‘Economic Abyssal Plunge of 2008′, I lost everything, and I mean everything. My business, house, car, life savings, credit rating – all gone. The only four things I had left, were… My faith in God, my beloved wife of 30+ years, my dignity and my refusal to give up (So I was still rich!).

    The last 6 years have been the rockiest road in my life… unemployment for almost 3 years, my wife being so seriously ill (twice), she almost died both times and also having to move our lives from Southern New Mexico to Northern Colorado, after having originally moved from the North East.

    I never thought at 61, that I was even remotely employable. BUT, faith and tenacity reigns! I sent out over 400 resumes and filled out countless applications, looking for almost any kind of work and anyone that would hire me. By grace, I wound up being employed with a large healthcare organization, all based on (are you ready for this?) my experience in the U.S. Army over 40+ years ago?!

    With my current job, I have gone full circle in my business career; I started out on the front line, eventually went into management, then stepped outside corporate, became self-employed,owning 2 businesses for over 20 years (broker/builder)… And now, here I am close to retirement, working on the front line again, this time in healthcare (I work in the ER of our local hospital). My sweet wife also works for the same organization too!

    With the huge medical bills almost gone, we have been able to put money into our 401K’s and are maximizing our 403b’s. No, we will not have much money to work with in the end, but we won’t be on the street either. I plan on working until I’m 67 or 68, because I’m in good health (Social Security will be deferred until then & both our monthly SS checks will be of decent amounts)… I even have plans to eventually start up a special wood crafting design business with my much younger brother in law.

    The moral of this little story… Don’t ever stop trying, because it is NEVER too late. Have faith in a higher power and yourself, love your spouse and your family… don’t ever stop looking for the best job possible (one that make you happy), save or invest what you can, when you can… and don’t ever, ever stop having fun in life!

    I know this is on the long side and it’s not all about personal finance but it IS a true story; and like you, I also like to write! Thank you for allowing me to share it with your readers… It hope it inspires someone who might be on the ‘edge’ like I was!

    Best wishes for continued success to you and your readers!

    Jim Nic

    • says

      Jim,

      I love your story and your never die attitude! WAY TO GO! I have been hearing more and more stories about people who lost it all and had to start over nearing retirement age 60-65. I was at the local Bed, Bath, and Beyond store the other day when a really nice man, about 68 years old helped me out with some stools I wanted. I didn’t have the 20% off coupons, but he said not to worry, that he’d take care of me with all four stools.

      He said his partner died earlier, and he lost his business after 25 years. I asked if hopefully he was OK? And he said, “I’m OK. I don’t live in a house anymore, but a small apartment. But each day is a blessing.”

      He looked quite ill, with spots all over his body. It is scary how we can work so hard, and exogenous variables can just crush us so easily.

      Thank you for sharing your story! And if you like to write, I would love to publish a guest post for you on my site! I think you’ll enjoy the community.

      Best,

      Sam

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