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Don’t Panic at the Disco: Winning Late-Stage Retirement Planning

Late-stage retirement planning

If you’re in your 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s and have yet to put money away for retirement, you’re probably feeling anxious and have a thousand questions. Get answers to all your late-stage retirement planning questions on this Queer Money™, and get the Late-Stage Retirement Calculator & Checklist.

Will you need to work past 80? Are there alternate investment strategies you should try? What is the best way to start saving—today? Let Teresa help you with late-stage retirement planning.


Late-stage retirement planning with Teresa Mears

Teresa spent 30 years as a newspaper journalist before shifting to online publishing. She runs Living on the Cheap, a website for personal finance and lifestyle advice. Living on the Cheap is a city-specific network of sites to help residents have a good time without going broke. 

Today, Teresa explores the reasons why people don’t plan for retirement and the difficulty of living on Social Security alone. She offers an approach to saving for retirement for those getting a late start and addresses concerns about finding work later in life. Teresa explains her take on using the cashflow model to earn retirement income, reverse mortgages, and overspending on ‘stuff.’

Topics covered about late-stage retirement planning

Why people don’t save for retirement

  • Seems far away when young

The risks of late-stage retirement planning

  • Very hard to live on Social Security (even max)
  • Housing costs have risen astronomically
  • Won’t have quality of life accustomed to

How to approach late-stage retirement planning

  • Will have to sacrifice something (no magic options)
  • Contribute max to 401(k)
  • Plan on working longer
  • Invest in Roth/traditional IRA if can contribute more
  • Consider side hustle
  • Contribute to health savings account

How to address concerns about finding work later in life

  • Stay current in field
  • Consider consulting, freelancing (gig economy)
  • Position yourself as an expert, could lead to business

The challenges around retirement savings for service workers

  • May not have access to 401(k)
  • May not make enough to contribute

Teresa on the cashflow model for late-stage retirement planning

  • Depends on person, location and opportunity
  • Real estate is not passive investment, challenge to find property
  • Consider vacation rental of property already own

The areas where we tend to overspend

  • Home renovations, decorating
  • ‘Stuff’
  • Gifts for children, grandchildren, friends

Teresa on ‘living on the cheap’

  • Entertain at home
  • Give gift of time
  • Think about what’s important to you
  • Seek out free events (concerts)
  • Cut expenses you don’t use (e.g.: cable TV)

Teresa on reverse mortgages

  • Depends on situation
  • Consider importance of staying in-house, how long
  • Deal with reputable mortgage broker

Teresa on retirement savings

  • Know where you stand
  • Set up account on social security website
  • Look at retirement accounts, pension benefits
  • Do estate planning
  • Ask for advice

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