Finance

How to Make Up for Your Financial Dark Years… and Then Some

How to Make Up for Your Financial Dark Years… and Then Some

Have you hit midlife and realize that the amount you’ve put away for retirement over the past 20-30 years of working is a mere pittance of what you’ll actually need?

You have tons of company…

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the median savings for households between ages 50 and 55 is only $8,000. And for those 56-61 it’s not much better … $17,000.

A mortgage, raising kids, student loans, and financial setbacks such as the Great Recession have caused many Americans to experience years, even decades, when they had little money for retirement savings.

For some… it’s just plain old procrastination.

And if you’re in your 50s, your earnings may have peaked and you should be squirreling away the most.

Simply put, this is a wakeup call that you have a lot of catching up to do.

But don’t panic or dwell on the past, because it’s not too late to start funding your retirement. But it is time to get serious, assuming you want to quit the grind in the next decade or so.

Start by …

Doing some belt-tightening

The first step is figuring out where your money is going each month and where you’re overspending.

Apps like Mint, Wela and Personal Capital — deeply discussed yesterday — will let you create a budget and track spending so you can cut expenses and use that money for your retirement savings. You can also set reminders on these apps to plan ahead, pay on time, and avoid late fees.

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