Hi Terry, I’m 59…and I have 2 in college, and I have nothing in a retirement fund. Money is tight, as I’m sure everyone tells you, but can you direct me where to start please.
Terry Says: You are not alone in your predicament. The first thing to realize is that traditional “retirement” is not going to be in your future. You (and your spouse) will have to keep working as long as you can — definitely into your 70s. So you will be able to make contributions for many years — and it is not too late to get started.
Any extra money you can bring in now should be set aside in an Individual Retirement Account — And the key is to bring in more money, so you can put it to work for you — even if you or your spouse has to take a weekend job as a driver, a waiter, a baby sitter etc.
It’s scary to put money into the stock market at this juncture, but if you can even put in $200 a month, you might want to start at T. Rowe Price (800-638-5660) and use their Equity-Income Fund.
(Full disclosure, that was my first fund in my IRA many, many years ago, and I remain invested in it and have added to it over the years. I always put my money where my mouth is!)
Go to www.ChoosetoSave.org — and click on the “Ballpark Estimate” tool to figure out how much you need to adjust your lifestyle in retirement based on how long you work, how much you save, and how much you need to spend in retirement. This is the website of the Employee Benefit Research Institute — and this tool is really an eye-opener.