I think as we grow older and start thinking about what we will do once we retire, we have to face the fact that the cost of living is growing faster than ever. We save in our 401ks in the hope of being able to retire rich. And dream of spending our golden years in enjoyment, surrounded by our family.
But many people are finding it harder and harder to retire at 65 and live comfortably. If you found yourself to this site, you know that to be true. Your searching for ways to get business financing for your start up or maybe you have credit problems and need to find lenders who will work with people with a low credit score.
Start your own business
Why not turn a hobby into a business? There are a lot of home based businesses that you can start especially with the help of the internet. For example, you can work as a part time writer or researcher during the week-ends or even a few hours after your day job. If you have special skills on making crafts, why not sell them for profit? Even if you just make a few bucks each day, it can still amount to significant cash in a month. There are also lots of opportunities in marketing products for people online.
Look at your personality and choose something you would be good at. If you are a people person, you may want to look at network marketing / direct sales (aka MLM). Its relatively cheep to get into and the industry has grown up ALOT since the days of inviting your friends over to buy over priced products. I was just at a networking event where I meet over a dozen women who had all started different MLM businesses within the last 3 years and had built businesses ONLINE for their direct sales business that provided them with a 5 figure and in 2 cases 6 figure income.
Network marketing isn’t all powders and pills anymore. 2 years ago when our senior credit analyst Liz Roberts sister got a divorce her credit was trashed. She introduced us to a company that helps people improve their credit! We have used them to help several of our start up business owners qualify for better financing options. If you are interested in owning a credit repair business, you can contact Liz here.
Making money online
Can be tricky. But there are lots of businesses you can run online. Here are a few that you might want to look into:
- Direct sales / network marketing (MLM)
- Ebay – people are making FT incomes here
- Amazon – another place people are making full time incomes selling other peoples products
- Dropshipping – This opportunity is another one our credit analyst has been involved with. I’m hoping to interview her soon to get her insights on finding a good company to dropship products from. Dropshipping doesn’t take a lot of money to start. Just have to have a good product with a good profit margin.
Buy a franchise
If you have some money to spend or have good credit and can qualify for a loan, you may want to look into a franchise. With a franchise you will have a company that will help you to find your location, how to market to your customers and WHO you should be targeting.
You can read some articles we wrote on franchising here:
- The 3 types of franchises
- The Pros and Cons of owning a franchise
- Questions to ask BEFORE buying a franchise
Franchising is a SMART way to start, especially if you have no experience in running a business or in the industry that you have an interest in working in.
Spend Less Save More!
Creating a budget that includes regularly putting money away into investments is a smart move to do while you are still working. Its not enough just to contribute to your 401k. Financial experts suggest that your bills should not exceed 40% of your total monthly earnings. If you find that your expenses are more than this percentage, or perhaps even exceeding your monthly salary, then it’s time for you make some changes.
Cut Back On Your Expenses
Take a look at your credit card statement. Look at the breakdown of HOW you spend your money. I think you would be surprised at the amount you spend eating out. Look for ways to save money, for example:
- Phone / internet / cable – consider purchasing a bundle. My husband and I only have cell phones now that our home alarm company no longer requires we have a house line. We got the cheaper bundle from the cable company that is just TV and internet.
- Examine your cell phone contract. Do a comparison and find the best family plan for you and your family. Your best service may not even require a contract!
- Analyze your insurance cost annually. For many years we were with Geico. Home and car. We always just renewed until my sister showed us how much she saved by switching to AAA. Now each year we examine all our insurance cost and haggle w/ AAA. We tell them if we have found something comparable and a at a cheaper rate. You would be surprised how often they will match an offer.
Examine your way of living objectively, try to find as many ways as you can to cut back on your monthly expenses and put more money into your savings account.
Have the initiative to regularly check your credit report and make sure that there are no incorrect charges made in your account. In case there are, do the necessary action to correct them immediately. Inform the major credit bureaus and request for an updated version of our credit report.
Pay off your credit cards
Get in the habit of paying your credit cards to a zero balance each month. There are a lot of us that use reward cards (GUILTY!) I use points to fly my mom out to visit us each Easter for free, AND when my husband and I go on vacation, we like to go “big time” LOL. We usually use points to buy up to first class. But its important to always pay these cards to a zero balance because the interest paid can cut down on the amount you actually save by using your points for purchases.
Contribute to your 401k
If you have a 401k fund, make it a habit to contribute as much as you can. Take advantage if your employer contributes to your 401k fund. As early as now, set aside some of your money for retirement savings.
Don’t Cash Out your 401k
When changing jobs, roll over your past retirement funds to your next employer. Don’t make the mistake of cashing out your 401k fund just because you have changed your employer. You only have a short window of time to roll it into another retirement account. If you go outside this window you will be subject to taxes on the money.
Also, some people use their 401k as a means to pay debts off. This really isn’t a good use of your 401k. Today its a lot more expensive to be retired and thus many senior citizens are forced to continue to work well past 65. If you don’t want to end up working past 65 or if you want to retire early. Then make sure you start your own business AND you contribute to your retirement starting at an early age.
If you plan to retire rich, know that if you are depending on your 401k only, you probably will end up working past 65. But you don’t have to be that way. One thing I’ve noticed since coming to work here is the variety of people who go out and start their own businesses. And things that I scoff at and say there is no way to make money doing that. Well, when the right opportunity meets the right person. Well anything is possible. But you need to be someone who can start to think outside the box. AND you need to be someone who puts thought to ACTION.
Don’t just do something because you heard someone is making money at it. That opportunity may not be for you. Choose something that you enjoy. If you enjoy it, it will be something you look forward to doing everyday. And remember, your success will equal the effort you put into it!