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By age 50, it's too late to save for retirement.
Let's take a look. I found a story about Baby Boomers who had turned 50 and had not saved anything for retirement. Is it too late to start? The advice given them in this article from Casey Dowd in "The Boomer" was anything, but giving up.
A new study by Allianz Life Insurance Company found that among boomers ages 55 to 65, rising health care costs and the future of Social Security were among their main worries heading into retirement. But for many of these, a traditional retirement age is only ten years away. If they haven't saved a dime for retirement, those two things shouldn't be their only worry. Everyone, and I mean everyone agrees that Social Security is not a retirement check. It's a retirement supplement. It's meant to supplement your other retirement account that you plan to live on once you leave the workforce.
So the advice given is pretty simple. You can't determine how much you can save for retirement until you determine what you spend each month as it compares to your net income. So first things first. You need to separate wants and needs and most, if not all of those wants might have to go away. After all, we're approaching the finish line in a Nascar race and running out of gas. Once that's done, determine how you can actually save on your needs. That might require getting a roommate to share expenses. It might require more discriminating shopping at the grocery store. It might require mapping out just where you "have" to travel in your car and saving on gasoline. Even taking on a second job might be in the picture.
Once you've determined how you can save the most money each month, then take a look at that extra money that isn't being spent and find out how you can ramp up savings for retirement. Maxing out a 401K plan would be one way.
Then there's the retirement age. We can start claiming Social Security benfits at age 62, though most often the recommendation is to hold off for a bigger check. For those who haven't started saving by age 50, a later retirement looms in the picture. 70 might be the age for these people. That gives a 50 year old twenty years to put it together.
And finally there's another option and that's working in retirement. Once you've reached the goal you set and you retire, there's always a part time job to bring in a little extra income during the so-called "Golden Years."