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Worried You'll Never Save Enough Money to Retire? You Can Retire Successfully -- Even If You're Broke or Started Saving Late

Aug 11, 2008
Today, every ten seconds a Baby Boomer turns 50, and another Baby Boomer turns 60.

It's the first time in history that any generation can expect to live more than half of their adult lives AFTER AGE 50. So, the good news is, we're going to live another 40 or 50 years. The bad news is, we're going to live another 40 or 50 years.

The greatest challenge for the 78 million Baby Boomers is how to be prepared for the financial and health challenges of living a much longer life than our predecessors.

Unfortunately, most Americans spend more time planning for their vacations than planning for their retirement. Only 42 percent of workers have tried to calculate how much money they will need to retire comfortably.

5 Simple Steps to Retire Rich

I'm a financial expert who's personally tackled and overcome issues most Boomers are facing: from caring for infirm elderly parents via long distance to raising kids after 50 and recovering from financial disasters to rebuild my nest egg.

When I use the term "retire rich," I mean having the income and security you need to support your lifestyle, and an absence of stress and anxiety about money. I'm not promising to make you a fortune. I am promising that it's not too late to start.

These five simple steps will help you to overcome the obstacle most likely to cause people to struggle later in life: procrastination.

1. Start by making sure you "pay yourself first" (and put your monthly savings on Auto-Pilot).

2. Pay off or replace high interest rate debt. You can renegotiate with your current credit card company (they're often willing to do this for long-term customers). Or switch to a company offering lower rates, and be sure to make timely payments.

3. Know your A,B,C's.

Scenario A: You can find "The Cost of Retirement Calculator" on my website. Use this calculator to calculate how much it costs you annually to live in the home where you live now. If all goes extremely well, you can afford to stay in your current home with your current property taxes and other annual expenses.

Scenario B: Now, calculate your annual living costs if you were to downsize and move to a less expensive part of the country, or downsize (maybe dramatically) in the town where you're living now.

You can probably reduce your annual expenses by 40% with plan B. One woman I know lives and travels in a motor home from a home base in Mexico. Her annual expenses are now just 20% of what they were.

Scenario C: Finally, estimate how much lower your cost of living could be if you moved to a low cost paradise overseas.

4. Being prepared for the rest of your life means knowing:

* How long you're likely to live.

* How much income you need in your A, B, and C scenarios to maintain your standard of living.

* How much income you can count on from existing sources and resources.

* How long your retirement cash reserves can last at different rates of withdrawal.

* What options are available to you to earn supplemental income.

5. Buy long-term care insurance at the right time.

Make sure you plan for the possibility that you, like 50% of your peers, will eventually require long-term care, whether due to illness, accident, deterioration or bad luck. Surprisingly enough, long-term care costs are not covered by Medicare. The monthly cost to buy long-term care insurance is based on the amount of benefits you choose to receive, your health, and what age you are when you buy it.

If you're looking for ways to achieve a happier and more successful next stage of life, The Baby Boomers Retirement Club can help. Use the tools and calculators we provide to develop an intelligent financial plan for your retirement years.
About the Author
Take a free 10-minute retirement quiz at http://www.mybbrc.com. Richard Roll, a retirement expert and bestselling Book-of-the-Month Club author, is the founder of the Baby Boomers Retirement Club (BBRC) and the American Homeowners Association (AHA). Contact Richard at richardroll@mybbrc.com.
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