How I Saved for Retirement

As a retirement geek, I thought about retirement TWENTY years before I was eligible to retire!

Yes, that's pretty odd... but by occupation, I was a Retirement Manager, and I have hosted Pre-Retirement Planning Programs for my employer for 25 years. I've heard many speakers and this topic simply interests me as it was what I lived since l985.

Mostly -- I never ever want to have the phrase I've heard so often at Pre-Retirement Planning meetings apply to me:

"You can out live your retirement..."

How can you out live your retirement, you ask? By living past where savings are still available to you, living day to day in retirement, with no back up monies, too old to work, but your savings are long gone and you are simply just existing...

So, 20 years ago, at the ripe old age of 30, I started to think retirement. I had a voluntary retirement savings plan at work (with no employer contributions), but I saved. I increased the amount every so often, and saved more... but honestly saved very little for many years (however, it DOES add up over time!)

It was really in the last ten years before retirement that I saved the most. At that point, you are serious, well, at least, I was!

Many of the previous expenses of raising children, and funding college, etc are almost done and you are at your highest earning point of your career -- so instead of getting more more more "stuff" -- think ahead to your long retirement future.

The more you save,
and the earlier you begin to save,
the longer the money is invested for you!

Let it Grow, Let it Grow, Let It Grow.....

The effect of compounding is immense....

Now, you can save little bits --

  • Make a pot of coffee at work, instead of drinking specialty coffee at special and costly rates.
  • Bring lunch from home, instead of eating out every single day.
  • Stop buying every book or magazine you see -- it's hard, but maybe you can swap magazines at work.
  • Reading materials are great but don't waste your hard earned cash on something you read, forget and dump.
  • The library is great for books -- you can often order the books you want, online, using your libraries website. They email you when the book is available.. and VOILA.. pick it up!
  • You also can order USED BOOKS via Amazon - I buy oodles of them, used and lots cheaper than the brand new books. I've never been disappointed, never got an old dirty book. Some books I wanted were only $2, but I paid $5-6 for shipping, but still well worth it if its something I wanted to keep for reference.
  • Bottom line - IF you want to save, you will. Payroll deducted plans are the best as the deduction is automatic and you won't miss it -- makes it easy to save.
  • Later, in retirement, every little bit helps! You will thank yourself later when you have a nice retirement lifestyle - that you took the time and effort to save earlier in life. 
  • A few years ago, I started this retirement website for a supplemental retirement income, to help offset the loss of income and the effects of inflation.