A contributor to a popular online forum recently asked fellow forum-goers whether starting to save for retirement at 40 was too late. A ton of people responded and provided their advice.
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An anonymous poster on the forum said that they had a turbulent home life in their 20s, but then left home, got married, and had kids. Unfortunately, in his 30s he got in an accident which left him disabled and on Social Security Disability Insurance. Finally in his late 30s he was able to get his finances together and start planning for the future. Hence the post in the online forum.
Is It Too Late
Most responders agreed that it’s not too late to start saving which follows traditional practical personal finance advice. While it may be later in the game and you’ll need to save more, it’s never too late to start saving for retirement.
The post received over 100 replies with many people saying something along the lines of “it’s never too late to start saving for retirement.” Here are some of the specific replies.
Several users wanted to make sure that the original poster started budgeting their money.
Max Out a Roth IRA
A Roth IRA is a great investment option if you’re eligible since you can withdraw money tax-free, and the IRS lets you contribute up to $6,500 ($7,500 if you’re age 50 or older).
Work for a Company With a Good 401K Match
“Free” money is a great thing, so commentors recommended finding a job that gives a good 401K match.
Don’t Spend Like You’re “Out of Poverty”
Lifestyle inflation is a real thing and many people see some cash in their bank account and want to spend it. Users recommended avoiding this urge and save it instead. One person said, “Live well below your means, do your best to not inflate your lifestyle as you get raises and such.”
Save in a Health Savings Account (HSA)
A great way to save for future health concerns and save on taxes. One commentor said, “HSA may also be another option for you if you need another pre-tax vehicle.”
Retirement is not for everyone and some people have a great time semi-retiring. Noone ever said that you have to retire when you’re 65 and that you’ll have no other income after that point.
Don’t Put Your Money Into Anything You Don’t Fully Understand
Throwing money away to invest in a banana farm or some other far-fetched idea your brother-in-law suggested is not the way to invest. Stick to what you know and stay the course.
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