Hi I’m Susan.
I started the Over Fifty Resource when I turned 50 and realized I don’t have as much saved for retirement as I should. It was a huge eye-opening experience.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t I notice this in my 40’s and earlier?
After all, you don’t just wake up when you’re 50 and notice your retirement accounts are lower than they should be.
To better understand where I’m coming from, you to know a little bit about my history and experience with money.
My Childhood Years
I grew up in a middle-class Mexican family. Both my parents were hardworking, blue-collar workers who always put food on the table. Both my parents retired from the same company after working for several years.
During my early childhood years, I never once saw my parents invest in the stock market, not that they ever discussed finances with us.
However, they both worked hard to raise 4 kids.
Growing up with 3 siblings meant I couldn’t get much of the stuff I always wanted. So, I was that kid in school who always wore the same outfits and never had any of the cool gadgets or things my friends had.
I was also that kid that hated starting a new school year. Unlike my friends, my parents never had a lot of money for new school clothes, so I always wore old clothes at the start of the new year.
I have some childhood memories of going school shopping, but it wasn’t every year.
Now that I look back at my childhood, it wasn’t that bad. But, if you would’ve asked me what I thought about it as a kid, I would’ve said it “sucked.”
My Teenage Years
I worked during the summers and after school as soon as I could get a job (14 back then). In the summer, my older brother and I worked in the fields. We picked apples, asparagus, and cherries, which was hard work.
It was fun working with my older brother, and if we had been allowed to save our money, who knows where I would be.
My parents would take our checks and spend them on crap whenever we got paid.
While living under their roof, my parents took and spent all the checks I earned from all my jobs.
So, my first experience with money was that I never had any. I learned that you go to a job and work hard for money, and was NEVER exposed to investing, saving, or building wealth.
My Early Adult Years
When I turned 18, I enlisted in the military. My goal was to leave the house as soon as possible.
Even though I never earned much money in the military, it was mine. I spent every dime and never saved a penny.
I bought CDs and clothes and spent foolishly with every paycheck. Unfortunately, I was modeling the same financial behavior that I saw my parents do. I had NEVER learned any better and at that point, I was too young to think about saving for retirement.
Then, when I got stationed stateside, I bought my first new vehicle and always had a car payment until I reached my mid 30’s.
It makes me cringe to think about how much money I could have saved if I hadn’t had car payments for over 15 years.
I remember thinking about saving and buying stocks, but unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy back then as today and I was scared of investing in stocks. Instead of educating myself, I forgot about it and went back to spending money foolishly.
Plus, no one in my family ever taught me about saving money. All I saw was my parents mishandling and spending money.
Unfortunately, our school systems teach nothing about investing or building wealth. So it’s up to us to educate ourselves.
The great thing is that it’s much easier today to start investing than in the 90s when I was growing up.
My 30’s and 40’s
In my early 30’s, I was employed by the United States Postal Service. I was employed there until I was 35, when I quit to pursue an entrepreneurial journey.
My 30s were the hardest financially because I walked away from the post office before I was making a penny.
During this time frame, I experimented MLMs, website design, and other unsuccessful entrepreneurial ventures.
I also made some poor real estate investment decisions that resulted in filing for bankruptcy. I filed for bankruptcy in
My Financial Hardships
Filing for bankruptcy was the most challenging and humiliating thing ever.
If you’ve never filed bankruptcy, you’re lucky. When you file bankruptcy, creditors look at you like your garbage.
They don’t want to give you loans, and your credit is shot. It took us a long time to build our credit back up. Today, I’m happy to say I have a credit score of 720, the last time I looked.
What About My Current Debt?
According to statistics, 80% of Americans have debt and 64% are living paycheck to paycheck.
Thankfully, I’ve managed to stay out of debt, after filing bankruptcy. However, I am using the Dave Ramsey snowball technique to pay off some school loans and medical bills.
I also don’t have any car loans or mortgage loans.
In the next week or so, we’re buying a new to us vehicle, and will be paying for it cash. It’s a 7 year old vehicle, but newer than the vehicles we are currently driving.
We’ve been saving our money because we knew the day would come when we would need a new ride.
That said, I made some terrible mistakes when saving up for our new vehicle.
Unfortunately, I’m still renting and don’t know if I’ll be able to buy my own home, especially, now since the housing market is ridiculous.
Why I Filed For Bankruptcy?
It was due to the poor real estate investments I made. In 2008, I applied for and financed 4 rental properties.
These loans were adjustable-rate mortgages with balloon payments. These were the types of loans mortgage companies were giving out in 2008.
It’s also why we were in a huge financial crisis then.
I included my rental properties and my personal property in the bankruptcy. Even though I wasn’t behind on the mortgage payments on my personal property, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to make the $800 monthly mortgage since I was pursuing my entrepreneurial journey.
I was right. The first several years after filing for bankruptcy were very hard. We could barely afford to buy groceries.
They say hindsight is 20/20, and they’re right.
Looking back, I should’ve kept my job at the post office while pursuing my entrepreneurial journey. But I was so unhappy at the post office I chose not to stay.
I also could’ve worked part-time jobs while pursuing my dreams. A couple of times during my journey, I did hold some part-time jobs.
At one point, I waited tables and was also an early morning stocker at Office Max. But for the most part, I didn’t earn a penny for several years, given the reason I don’t have enough saved for retirement.
My Late 40’s and Early 50’s
It wasn’t until my late 40s that I found some success online with blogging and niche sites.
Going from employee to entrepreneur was the hardest and most challenging thing ever.
It took years of hard grind, sleepless nights, and learning. So, was it worth it?
Absolutely yes! I love my freedom of being able to do whatever I want when I want. That said, I am NOT financially free yet.
Unfortunately, with my poor financial IQ background, I had no clue about investing.
I Started Investing
Four years ago, I opened up my first Vanguard Roth IRA, but I have only been able to max it out for the past three years.
At the time of this writing, my Roth account has $25,052.64 and growing. My only regret was that I didn’t learn about the Roth earlier.
In 2021, I learned about investing in a brokerage account. With my new knowledge, I opened a brokerage account with Vanguard, and last year I opened a brokerage with Fidelity.
2022 was the year that I opened up my first Solo 401k account.
If you’re self-employed, you can also open a Solo 401k account, which I highly recommend. Even if you can’t max it out, it will help you save on taxes.
The Solo 401k is a fantastic investment vehicle that saves you the most money. As an entrepreneur, you can contribute as both the employee and the employer.
Since opening my Solo 401k in 2022, I’ve been able to invest $28,543.
This would be great if I was in my 20’s or 30’s. However, according to statistics, at 50 years old, I should have three to six times my pre-retirement gross income saved.
So as you can see, I’m far from the savings I should have.
Why I Started This Blog
I’ve started this blog to share my journey to FI (financial independence) with anyone in the same boat as me.
According to the statistics, 50% of women are more likely not to have less or no retirement savings compared to men.
Sadly, most people don’t have enough saved to help them fund their retirement.
When I started getting serious about saving for retirement, I read a lot of blogs, listened to podcasts, read books, and watched YouTube videos.
I found that most of the people who ran those blogs were millennials. They are using FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) savings methods.
Most of them save 50-80% or more of their income to retire early. Even though I’m a Generation X aka Gen X, I love listening to these people.
By increasing their savings amount, many millennials can retire in 10 years.
So why not use the FIRE methods in my 50s to ensure I can fund my retirement. Yes, I passed the retire in my early 40’s or 50’s.
But I’m still young enough to FIRE and retire in my late 50s or early 60s. Considering most people don’t retire until they are around 66 or so in the US, I have a great chance of retiring early.
Plus, by applying the FIRE strategies, I can ensure that I don’t have to rely on social security when I retire.
I don’t want to be like my retired parents, who rely entirely on their social security. The last I checked, my social security will be around $1200.00 per month.
Making $1200 per month is below the poverty level.
So, while I may not become a millionaire by the time I retire, I can take the steps today to change my financial outlook.
Over Fifty Resource Is Born
I’ve started this blog to document my personal experience in plain English of what I’m learning about taxes, investing, LLCs, building our wealth, etc.
Everything I share on this site is something I’ve done or have to do to run my blog business or manage my portfolio.
My goal is to share everything I learn in hopes of helping someone else who comes after me. I almost didn’t start this blog because I’m NOT a financial advisor.
Over 50 Resource Almost Wasn’t A reality
I don’t know as much about finances as Investopedia.com, Fool.com, or the other top finance blogs.
So my internal dialogue was, who are you to start a finance blog and teach others about money?
However, I decided not to let this stop me.
Unlike those blogs, I’m sharing my personal journey of going from currently a net worth of $74,468.67 and growing. You can see some screenshots of my account balances from Fidelity, M1 Finance and Vanguard below.
These figures don’t include my emergency fund, with Goldman Sachs.
I’m not sharing these screenshots to brag. Instead, I’m sharing them because I want you to see that I’m working towards my first 100k in my retirement account.
At the time of this writing, I only have $7,694.73 in my solo 401k and $25,036.43 in my Roth IRA, which are both tax advantage accounts.
Hopefully, what I share helps those of you late to investing for retirement realize it’s not too late.
I realize I’m starting my retirement savings late, but I’m not letting this stop me. Instead, I will do everything I have to do in my fifties to ensure I catch up on my retirement and build my wealth.
As a matter of fact, I have a job interview this morning. I’m seeking a part-time job to save more of my business income for my solo 401k.
I’m not very happy about getting a part-time job, but if I can increase my income, I won’t have to pay myself that much from my business.
This means I can push more toward my solo 401k at the end of the year.
Plus, the only way to catch up for retirement is to make more money. Yes, you can cut your budget to save more money, but you can only save so much.
If you really want to max out your contributions, you have to find more ways to bring in more money. This means you can work a second job, start a side hustle, sell things on Facebook market place, etc.
The great news is there are several ways to increase your income, you just have to get a little creative and be willing to do whatever it takes.
Join The Late To Savings Journey
Whether you’re 40, 50, or 60, it’s NEVER too late to save.
Yes, we’ve lost a lot of the compounding years. It just means that we have to start from where we are.
We also have to be willing to do things we didn’t have to do if we had started saving earlier.
Don’t put your savings on the back burner.
Start taking action today and join me in this journey to Financial Independence.
I’m no financial advisor, but I’m here to provide my personal experiences and lessons learned from doing things differently than most people.
So, how will Over 50 Resource help you, and how is it different from every other financial blog out there?
- I share my personal experiences with you. Unlike other blogs, I’m actually using, doing, or sharing exactly what I’m doing in order to help you.
- I’ve had my own business for over 4 years and have learned a lot that I’ll share my personal experiences with you.
- I’m a regular person who doesn’t make six figures, but I’m working on increasing my income.
- I’ve made some terrible money mistakes and I’m not ashamed to admit them.
- I’m starting from scratch (well I started from scratch last year)
- I’ve had my own share of hardships and didn’t have a silver spoon handed to me.
- I’m learning as I go along and share everything, including the tools I use to grow my wealth.
- I’ll be sharing the mindset required in order to acquire wealth.
Everything I share on this blog and my YouTube channel (coming soon) is what I do or have done to build my wealth.
I’m still learning every day, and there’s a lot that I don’t know.
So, while I don’t consider myself a financial guru, I am willing to share everything I do know in hopes of helping someone change their financial outlook for retirement.
The time is going to pass anyway, so you may as well do something different today.
Imagine what your life look like in 5 years, if you start saving today!
I’m looking forward to see where we’ll be in the next 5 years!
If you have any questions or feedback, you can contact me here.