First Person: I'm Retired, but Didn't Start Saving Until I was in My 40s

Yahoo Contributor Network

Retirement is what every hard working person looks forward to. Associates who are fortunate enough to work for corporate America have a retirement plan built into their payroll accounts. I worked food and beverage for over 40 years relying on tips for survival. As a single, working mother, I was unable to save extra money until I was over 50. I always thought about retirement, but realistically putting money into a retirement account never happened.

I had wanted to retire at 65, but arthritis forced me to retire at 62. I relied on my 401K along with a retirement plan I never knew existed. I had not thought about these investments in the past but I sure was glad they were available to me now.

In order to be able to retire with my benefits, I made a lifestyle overhaul. I moved out of my apartment and moved in with my widowed sister who had retired the year before. Together, we went into the craft business which allowed us extra money. I let go of everything commercial, donating clothes, linens, towels, china, furniture, the works. I learned to live out of a suitcase. I moved only what I needed. We have time and enough money to visit our families for all the events and for vacation and gambling trips. The senior perks are very helpful to us and we take full advantage.

I do regret not being able to put away a sum of money every payday for my retirement. It was that or shoes and school clothes. Food on the table was more important than thinking 40 years down the road. The one thing that I can honestly say that I wish I could have done differently, would be to marry a rich man who actually loved me. That would have definitely made my retirement days easier. Honestly, learning to be meager and bringing myself to the core of life whereby I live on only what is necessary, has not been a bad thing.

The rules and regulations of retirement are changing along with society. Every person is different and their needs are as well. It is with wisdom that you make a retirement plan and do your very best to carry it out. If life should get in the way of your plans, then ride the wave of living as best you can.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.


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