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Jun 13 2011 12:00AM

Question


I just turned 57 years old. Unfortunately, I have a small savings account and no retirement plan in place. What can I do at this late stage in the process?

Answer


“Don’t give up on retirement planning, even at 57 years young,” said FPA member Heidi Davis, CFP®, MBA, of Columbia Financial Planning, LLC.

Davis suggests that you look into the following options:

  1. You may be entitled to Social Security. Consider reviewing/requesting your annual statement and find your monthly benefit.
  2. Consider working as long as you can. Then, consider part-time employment.
  3. The retail industry near you may have part-time jobs where perhaps you can work a second job, for example, only on Saturdays.
  4. If you have equity, consider selling and moving to a location with a lower cost of living.
  5. Look at your expenses and develop a budget for yourself. Determine a goal for a monthly deposit to your emergency fund and to your retirement savings.
  6. Do you have a retirement plan at work such as a 401(k), 403(b), 457 or Thrift Savings Plan? This may be a good option for retirement savings. Check to see if your employer matches your deposit.
  7. Look at what you own and think about possible sources of income. If you have an extra room in your house, consider renting it. 
  8. Consider a fun second job that may be a hobby right now. If you like writing, maybe write for publishers that will pay you.
  9. Consider going on the Internet and looking for magazines or books at libraries that offer ideas on jobs for those that are 50 or older.
  10. If you can only save $10 monthly for retirement, save it. The saying is “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

“Don’t look back,” Davis said. “Just look forward to where you’re headed. The options are as broad as your imagination.”

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