I had a laugh the other day when my 17 year old son was teasing me and said “Mom, you’re old!”. I giggled and said, “I’m not old, I’m middle aged and just hitting my prime!” I reminded him that I was just only 48, and had lots of life left in me. Then I started thinking about how I did, indeed have lots of life left in me, but not lots of money to live it.
I have been a stay at home Mom for more than 20 years. I’ve had some income come in, but for the most part my husband has been the main breadwinner in our family. He has a decent retirement plan, but I realized that I didn’t have one, and I probably should. I began looking up ways that I could start preparing NOW for my future.
I reached out to Elisabeth Dawson, founder of COPIA Wealth Management & Insurance Services and author of Wealth By Design for some tips on how to gt back on financial track. At this point in my life, my circumstances are a lot different than say, a 24 year old, single person. Let’s face it, I have 2 college aged kids, and both my husband I have health challenges that cost quite a bit. I figured without a healthy retirement fund already I was doomed, but it’s not true. Elisabeth shared some great tips!
These tips gave us a good starting point. Number one is the most important. As a homeschooling Mom, I don’t have time for a job outside the house, but I have started picking up a few part time things to make some extra money, and it all goes into a Roth IRA. Also, there were a lot of ways I could make extra cash- like selling a lot of the stuff I de-cluttered from my annual after Christmas de-cluttering spree, and putting aside the money I saved using coupons or not eating out into my Roth. It may seem like its small amounts, but they add up! The plan is also to get a part time job after our youngest graduates to put away money for retirement.
Neither of our children were interested in attending college. Our oldest has started her own successful business, and our youngest plans on attending technical school once he graduates. He’s already figured out a plan on how to pay for it, and to get out of school debt-free, and in fact, making money. I’m sure we’ll help him some, but he’s taken on the responsibility for his secondary schooling on himself.
The healthcare account is something I hadn’t thought of, but completely makes sense. As we get older and require more healthcare, having an account will save us quite a bit of money in the long run. Let’s face it, the cost of healthcare is only going up, and anything we can do to help is a win!
To be honest, I was worried about my retirement. I know that starting now won’t get me as far as if I had started in my 20’s, but every step I take now will help protect me as I grow older.