We all screw up along the way to retirement. We blow all our earnings. We accumulate a pile of debt. We dig a hole so deep, we wonder if we can ever get out and prosper financially.
In my 20s, I bought a nice BMW and my wife and I built a fancy custom home. Both of us were earning good money and our prospects for future increases were great. I thought this adult career thing was easy. Projecting “normal” wage increases on our income, meant that we would be on easy street. I mean my income could never go down could it?
Let’s just say I spent my 30s learning hard lessons and cleaning up the mess I made in my 20s.
Jen’s Journey to Retirement
In this week’s journey to retirement story, we hear from a smart lady that screwed up with debt, dug herself out of her hole and is now prospering.
If you’re feeling like you’re in a financial hole, listen to her story. She dug out and so can you.
- Native Californian
- Mid-40s (aka 29)
- No children
- Works in middle management
What Does Retirement Mean to You?
“I do believe that as we’re exposed to new ideas…our values shift.”
[Tweet “I didn’t realize how much debt could be shackles to your future.”]
“Retirement is freedom for me. Freedom in terms of my determining where I want to spend my time.”
[Tweet “Maybe for me it’s not really retirement; it’s financial freedom and independence.”]
What Are You Most Excited About Retirement?
“That ability to make spur of the moment decisions.”
How Would You Have Changed Your 20s?
“I would not have lived what I thought a typical American lifestyle was. I would not have lived beyond my means.”
What Are You Most Worried About Retirement?
“That I’m not going to make it and if I do my health won’t be there.”
“What am I missing now since I’m deferring so much for this date in the future.”
“The fact that maybe it’s too late. That I won’t be able to make that catch-up date.”
“Retirement is the language I grew up hearing. We all work until we’re 65 and then we collect Social Security.”
“I don’t want to be that person that I have to augment my retirement.”
“You can’t bank on the fact that you have good health in retirement and that you’ll be able to work.”
How Do You Think You’re Doing?
[Tweet “I would love it if someone could look into their crystal ball and say I’m okay.”]
Do You Use a Financial Planner?
“I’m afraid I’m going to choose someone that is inexperienced or has dealt with a situation similar to mine.”
What is the Worst Financial Decision You’ve Ever Made?
“Oh, there are SO many.”
“The decision to be a self-employed individual and I was ill prepared with what that meant.”
“I got into something like $40,000 of credit card debt.”
“I understand depression. When you wake up and there’s nothing and there is nothing I can do to get out of this mess.”
What Has been the Hardest Thing to Deal With Personally in Managing Your Finances?
“There’s a fear that any moment now my good fortune could disappear.”
What Resources Have Had the Most Impact on Your Life?
- The Little Engine That Could
- Young, Fabulous and Broke, by Suzi Orman
- Why you need FU money, Jlcollinsnh.com
- Mr. Money Mustache
How Do You Want to Be Remembered?
“I’m hoping who ever I meet…that I impact them positively.”