If you’re in your 30s, 40s or even 50s, you may think that you have plenty of time to save for retirement. It always seems like such a long way off, but putting off saving now can cause devastating results. Results that only become obvious when it’s too late.
The first question to ask yourself is why am I not saving for my retirement? The majority of us will have one of two answers (or possibly both). 1) You are not making enough to pay for living expenses due to a decrease in wages or job loss, or 2) You make enough to pay your living expenses, but any additional money you make is quickly used up on minimum payments to credit cards and other unsecured debt. Minimum payments that, if never increased, will cause it to take you decades to pay off the debt. And if you continue to use that credit card, this pushes the decades to virtually never.
If you fall into the first category, you may need to re-budget and come up with ways to lower your living expenses so that you can afford to live off of what you are bringing in. If your mortgage and/or car payment is part of the problem, you may need to look into ways to lower those monthly payments. Refinancing your home is an option, but there are many pitfalls involved and banks are offering this option less and less. You can try to trade in your car to get a cheaper model with a lower payment, but this may not be enough to reduce your monthly expenses.
If you’re not saving for retirement because of minimum payments on credit cards and other unsecured debts, you may also need to work to reduce your monthly expenses to allow you more money for these payments. However, this may either not be an option, or not be enough.
As extreme as it may sound, you may find that you need to give up your home or car. If this is the case, looking into bankruptcy is a must. Filing for bankruptcy allows you to surrender your house, car, or both. It also allows you to discharge unsecured debt, getting rid of the minimum payments that are getting you nowhere. It’s a smart move to talk to a bankruptcy attorney before you start to get overwhelmed by your debt so that you can find out what your options are.
Getting rid of the debts that are putting you behind each month, and coming up with a livable budget, may just allow you to start saving for your golden years. When retirement finally comes around, you’ll be happy that you did.
Contact Greenwald & Hammond today to schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.
Submitted by:Kerry Hammond. Esq.