As a result of the lack of respect for money and its stewardship, I have nothing saved. There are, however, no big debts (school loans, car pmt, mortgage etc.). I am 64, single, have no children and my medical is taken care of through the V.A. Hospital program. Monthly net income is composed of Social Security and a part-time position, equaling $1500. After the monthly outflow there is approximately $200-$300 to work with. I have considered investing in a DRIP program and also thought of annuities as another avenue of approach to investing for my latest years. Barring sudden death and given my ancestor’s longevity, I expect to live for another 30-40 years. Is there any hope or should I just ‘throw in the towel’ and live at this deserved low income level. While I did “consider the ant…”(Proverbs 6) I obviously didn’t hearken to the truth thereof and am one of many baby boomers that foolishly put himself in this position. I expect to work until I am 75-80 and will therefore have the additional Social Security added to my present level. Finally, being a veteran, I am still applicable for the VA loan program. am looking to put this money aside until 20 years from now. What to do?
Terry Says: OK, this is complicated. Despite continuing to work, you have really hurt yourself by taking Social Security early. And although you plan to work until age 75, that might not be possible, either for health reasons or because employers seek younger workers (sad, but true). I think that what you need to do now is earn as much as possible and save as much as possible — for starters in a bank CD, until you have at least $15,000 saved up. Then you can write back to me and get more specific advice. Yes, you could get a VA mortgage loan — but why? A house requires even a small down payment, and comes with additional expenses that don’t seem within your budget.
It’s hard to give specific advice without knowing more, so if you want individual help I would suggest contacting Consumer Credit Counseling services at 800-388-2227 — You can use their help even if you are not in debt, as they are experts at looking at budgets, earnings, expenses. That will give you a good start.