If you have not saved any money for retirement, do not beat yourself up about it. Plenty of people are in this situation. In fact, the Employee Benefit Research Institute found in its 2009 Retirement Confidence Survey that Americans are less confident now that they will be able to achieve a comfortable retirement than they were in 1993, when the survey began.
Start Putting Money Away
MSN has a money retirement planner that lets you know how much you should be saving to lead a retirement lifestyle similar to your current one. For example, if you are 60 and want to retire at age 65, the calculator tells you that if you make $60,000 a year, you need to save 33 percent of your income in order to have a nest egg of $10,000. If you make $40,000, you will need to save 40 percent of your income.
If you have been supporting adult children, you need to stop doing that and start putting that money away for your own retirement.
People over 50 are allowed to put more money into 401ks and IRAs. Increase your contribution to reflect the maximum allowed if you have not already done so.
Wait Longer to Retire
If you cannot save 35 or 40 percent of your income, maybe you can wait until age 70 to retire. Not only will the extra five years give you more time to save, you will receive more money from Social Security. According to the Social Security Administration, delaying retirement until age 70 will earn a person the largest benefit.
If you cannot work full-time, maybe you can work part-time. Most baby boomers, according to the AARP, plan on working past 65, so you will fit right in if you decide to work.
Trim Your Expenses
In order to save enough for retirement, go over your budget and cut out everything you do not need. Try writing down all the money you spend in a month. This includes everything from your monthly bills down to buying a cup of coffee. When you see exactly where your money is going, it will be easier to cut some things out. In addition, many books and resources teach people how to live more frugally.
If you have a lot of equity in your home, you may want to move to a less expensive area or to a smaller home. Some retirees are even moving out of the U.S. to save money.
Get Financial Advice
Hire a financial advisor. Start by going to the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. This professional organization uses fee-only financial planners, which means you are less likely to be ripped off as you may from commission-based planners who may try to sell you something you don't need.