Most of us know it is smart to save money for those big-ticket items we really want to buy — a new television or car or home
Yet you may not realize that probably the most expensive thing you will ever buy in your lifetime is your…retirement.
The cost of those future years is getting more expensive for most Americans, we live long after we retire — with many of us spending 15, 25, even 30 years in retirement — and we are more active.
Unfortunately, only about 54 percent of all workers are earning retirement benefits at work, and many are not familiar with the basics of investing.
What is your spending plan? How can you up your savings plan?
These questions have dogged me for a while that now I am over 50 and would like to change my career and putter in my garden or receive income passively.
Step one. Do you know how you spend each day, week or month? Getting a handle on spending and knowing where you are spending is crucial to making changes if necessary. What is important to you? I mentioned that I like gardening. This hobby/business can be expensive and impulsive. I choose to schedule my spending and spend small. I have one account for this hobby. I pay it off each month.
Step two. Do you have commitments to family or debts that never seem to go away? I have commitments to my family. My mother is elderly and sometimes her income does not cover her outlay and she needs some assistance. I set aside a monthly allowance for her and this gives her assurance she will be ok. The reason I do this is helping my mum stay in her home which is her choice. People who can stay in their homes do better than people who are forced into assisted living before their time. Have you visited a nursing home lately? I set up an account to help my mum and feel better about myself.
Step three. What about those debts that never seem to go away? This could be credit cards, student loans, auto loans or mortgage? The best attack for these debts is to pay more than minimum. I started paying these bad boys twice a month and saw the balance recede. If I had automatic payments, I had to increase the payment to cover monthly charges.
Step four. I have an ongoing educational program to increase my knowledge. The world is changing and we need to stay informed and become better consumers and choose a lifestyle. Read a book, financial newsletters and check out Yahoo finance.com I decided to learn more about investing and trading. One book that I recently read was How to think like a millionaire by Dr. Boyce Watkins. I became a member of mentor group. This helps me with taking baby steps and eventually take giant strides.
Step fiveIf you are over 50, what can you do to increase your savings for retirement? Nearly everyone has knowledge that can be converted into a business or an income producing project. Creating a side hustle before you leave your job. Write an ebook about something that you a passionate about. Declutter your space to find items that could be turned into cash. Learn about investing and trading. Pay your self first and start small. Check out micro-investing. (Acorn.Stash or Robinhood, Swell, Wealthsimple)
If you like these tips, I will be sharing more ideas. Come back and visit. Weekly I add more tips.
Happy Investing in yourself!
Chari Farmer Ogogo
Be Savvy, Live Wealthy