I started getting serious about saving for retirement two years ago, at age 48. At 50 years old, I funded my 401k and realized I am way behind my retirement savings, according to statistics. At 50 years old, I should have six times my salary saved for retirement. Unfortunately, I’m nowhere near that, so I’m sharing my journey with you to make myself accountable.
Why I’m Sharing My Financial Journey?
I’ve always been embarrassed to talk about my finances. Maybe it was because I never had a lot. I’m a GenXer; unfortunately, we grew up without the technology you see today.
I remember seeing my first computer in junior high or high school. However, my parents couldn’t afford one, so we never had one.
Also, I grew up in a Hispanic home, and my parents never had a lot of money. Whenever they did have money, they always spent it. I don’t think they ever invested any of it.
So when I moved out, that was my money story. Everything I earned in my early years, I spent it. Then, in my 30’s, I encountered hardships that lasted well into my 40s and never saved a penny.
In my late 40s, my online business started earning money, so I opened up my first Roth IRA. During that time, I started listening to financial podcasts, reading personal finance blogs, and reading self-development books.
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I realized that 55% of Americans don’t have enough saved for retirement, which is sad. So instead of being embarrassed about my situation, I wanted to share what I’m doing to shovel money into my investment accounts.
It will be worth it if I can help just one person. I want to prove that it doesn’t matter where you come from or your story; you can take charge of your life and change it.
Why I’ve Never Made My Financial Journey Public?
I’ve NEVER told anyone about my financial goals because I’m deep down I’m scared I won’t reach them. And once I put it out there, I’m accountable for doing everything possible to reach them.
If I don’t reach them, people will criticize me for not reaching my goals. After all, once it goes on the blog or my Twitter account, my goals are public.
I’ve been creating YouTube videos and blogging for several years, and I know how mean some people can be. But after seeing several millennials and other bloggers share their financial journey, I’ve decided to share mine.
I wanted to start a personal finance blog for those 50 or older. Most FIRE blogs are for the younger generation, and it can get depressing to constantly hear others say that we should’ve started saving earlier.
We already know we’re behind on our savings, but what do we do to catch up. This blog gives you an inside view of what I’m doing to reach 500k in my retirement. So instead of getting advice from a younger person, we’re going through the struggle together.
I’ve Always Been Good With Finances
Friends and even my partner tell me I’ve always been good with the finances. At one point, my partner wanted me to get involved with a career dealing with finances.
However, I’ve never considered myself good with finances, so I never pursued it. Now, I know I’m pretty good with finances; my biggest issue is that I’ve never earned that much money.
But isn’t that everyone’s problem? We always want more; I know I do more money would make my life easier.
Especially since I’m at a point where I don’t care so much about material things, and I’m not trying to keep up with the Joneses.
I Want To Share What I’m Doing
I’ve read a lot of financial blogs, but I really like reading the ones that share their personal story or journey.
After all, sharing my story is much easier than writing about complicated financial stuff. If you want to read about complicated financial stuff, visit Investopedia, Nerdwallet, or other financial sites that know more than I do.
Of course, I may eventually cover some of those other financial situations, but I wanted to share my story and journey with my readers.
I have a lot easier time sharing something if I’m doing it. It’s much easier to talk about something I’m going through, etc.
After all, you’ll learn much as I share what I’m doing or where I’ve been. Plus, I can explain things better because I’m experiencing it.
It won’t be pretty all the time, as I am still learning as I go. Feel free to share your input if I say or do something wrong. I’m not claiming to know everything. If I did, I wouldn’t be blogging about catching up for retirement and starting late to save money.
Instead, I’d be spending my time doing other hobbies.
But I promise to share everything, including my mistakes, so hopefully, you won’t make the same ones. I know some people will judge me, and that’s fine; I’m finally okay with that.
You know what they say, when you reach 50, you stop caring about what other people think or how they perceive you. While I haven’t quite gotten to that life stage, I am getting there slowly.
Making My Goal Public
Since I got involved with personal development about 4 years ago, I’ve been big on setting goals. However, I’ve NEVER made my goals public.
Yes, I’ve told my partner what I want and have even written it down on a post-it note and stick it on my computer so I can see it everyday. But that’s easy and I’m sure you’ve done that.
Now that I’ve told you I want to save 500k in my retirement accounts, I’m holding myself accountable to take the steps everyday to reach it. This means that I need to develop new habits that increase my income.
Instead of binge watching TV, I need to work on this blog or my other blogs. I’ve never really had issues with being disciplined, but I’ve only ever been accountable to myself.
Other People Who Share Their Financial Journey Stories
If you’re like me, then you prefer reading people’s blogs that share their own personal story. If so, then here’s some good blogs, YouTube channels and podcasts that talk about real life stories, about people going from broke to financial freedom.
- Baby Boomers Super Saver (blog)
- Retire Early 500k (I just found this YouTube channel and I really like it)
- Our Rich Journey (This is the channel that got me started investing)
There are several other resources I could list, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. I’ll share some of my favorite books with you later, so stay tuned.
What Financial Freedom Means To Me?
Instead, my focus is on earning more to set my partner and me up for financial freedom. We just returned from vacation (our first one in two years) on Monday, and I loved the freedom of not having to live by a clock.
To me, financial freedom means living on your terms and doing what you want without worrying about money.
Some people want to earn more money to buy more stuff. That’s not me. I look at money differently than when I was in my 20s and 30s.
Having enough money means I can be free to do what I want without worrying about where I’m getting my next paycheck.
I don’t know how much I need, but 500k would be good, considering we don’t have a car payment. However, we don’t own a home, so I’ll always have a rent payment, which sucks.
I realize I will always have to budget, but my goal is to create passive income streams that pay for my lifestyle. If I have a profitable blog or a side hustle that I have to work on, that’s fine too.
I just don’t want to have to work for the MAN to make ends meet. I started a part-time gig about two months ago; you can read about it here.
Let Me Tell You About My Financial Goals
I’d love to save a million dollars before I’m 62 or 12 years from now. I know that sounds crazy, but I know it’s possible after listening to this podcast.
So, while I’d still love to save a million dollars, my first goal is to invest 100k in my retirement account (including my Roth). I have $56,995.34 invested right now, so I have a long way to go.
I’m not counting the fluctuations in the stock market right now, which have impacted my 401k earnings. Instead, I’m focusing on the amount I deposit into my account.
Once I reach the 100k mark, I’ll increase my goal. To share my journey, I’ve decided to share the amounts I contribute to all my accounts here.
I figure anything that I save, will be better than what I currently have. Plus, I won’t have to worry about living in poverty in old age like my mom. She’s living on social security and disability, which isn’t a lot of money. But at least she’s able to buy food and her house is paid for.
There are tons of stories about people living in poverty when they get older. I don’t want that to be me and my partner. So I continue squirreling money into our investments whenever possible.
What I’m Doing To Save For Retirement?
Now that I’ve told you my goal, you might be thinking, what am I doing to reach them?
Here’s what I’m doing to bring in money every month:
- Blogging: I have several blogs that I work on that earn me money. (the downside is that I have too many blogs to work on) Plus, since I earn most of my money through ads, my income has decreased quite a bit this year due to the economy.
- Working A Part-Time Job: I got a part-time job at Lowe’s Hardware in February. My goal was to use the Lowe’s income to pay the bills and my everyday living. I’ve stopped paying myself any income from my business LLC and am saving as much as possible, so at the end of the year, I’ll be able to fund my Solo 401k with as much as possible.
- Selling items on Poshmark: I’ve just sold an old pair of sandals we weren’t using. Don’t expect to earn a lot; I made $26.40 from the sale. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s extra money that you can use to invest. Sign up for Poshmark through my link, and you’ll get an extra $10 off your first Poshmark order, whether you sell or buy something.
- YouTube: I have finally reached monetization for one of my YouTube channels. At the time of this writing, I’ve earned $44.46, which isn’t a lot of money, but I’ll take anything I can. The downside is that I’ve quit making videos because I’ve stretched myself too thin.
Can I Be Doing More?
I’m a type A personality, which means I always feel like I can be doing more. However, I’m doing everything I can to increase my savings, and if I tried doing more, I wouldn’t have time to work on this blog.
I’ve thought about selling some of my blogs that earn me a little money every month, but I like getting that money every month.
I also could look for a higher paying part-time job. Lowe’s doesn’t pay very well, but they are flexible with my hours. If I got another job, I wouldn’t be allowed to work the early morning hours, which is what I like.
So, for now, I’m staying with Lowe’s unless something much better comes around.
I wasn’t going to start this blog, but I wanted to be held accountable and share my journey with you. But after realizing that so many people (especially Latinas) are in the same boat as I am.
Most of us aren’t taught about money in our childhood, nor do we grow up in families with money. In my early years, I blew through my money buying material things and went through bankruptcy in my 30s.
Now at 50, I’m sharing what I’m doing to become financially independent. So join me, and let’s change our money story together!