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Old 11-15-2022, 05:07 PM   #21
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Blunt truth (IMHO) is this person needs to work to age 70 or more, not take SS until age 70. Live cheap now to boost the savings.

OP's friend needs to save $10K per year at a minimum, and probably needs to hear a number instead of vague suggestion to save a lot, as to this person saving a lot means maybe $500 per year.

Lots of folks had good suggestions, but OP's friend should realize there is stiff competition for low cost or free housing hence the long lists.
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Old 11-15-2022, 05:18 PM   #22
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As has been said, work as long as she can. Try to hold off on SS until 70. Cut expenses to the bone. Unless I’m misunderstanding something, there’s no way I’d recommend retiring at lest until she’s Medicare eligible. The cost of health insurance or going with out it is just too great. FRA and on Medicare are the earliest I would go if I had no savings.
This may or may not be true. Some states have expanded medicaid eligibility . She may also be eligible for a subsidy on healthcare.gov. All things she should research ahead of time. If she is disabled, has medical issues, applying for social security early under disability is also an option. It isn't as hard for people in their 50's and 60's to get disability than younger. Then of course, get on the wait list for subsidized housing if she wants/ needs that. If she can afford to put away some money of course she should with the caveat of checking out means testing and the ramifications of having too much money. My MIL in subsidized housing had to move money out of her account ( gave it to the kids to hold for her ) in order to qualify. Folks on social security disability are generally allowed to work part time also.
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Old 11-15-2022, 05:29 PM   #23
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Don't advise her. I know someone who retired at 60 and still blames the benefit office because they advised her it was possible. Actually what they told her was you can draw a pension at 60, they didn't say it was a good idea. And in her situation it was not a good idea. Giving advice to someone who has 10K saved at the age of 55 and wishes to retire in 7 years is a great way to lose a friend

What i say to ppl like that: "I'm not qualified to give advice"
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Old 11-15-2022, 06:34 PM   #24
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Anyhoo she declared bankruptcy but wants to retire in 7 years.
simply asked me "how can I make my money grow".
Live as thrifty as possible, save as much as she can, and plan on NOT retiring in 7 years.
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Old 11-16-2022, 11:14 AM   #25
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I disagree. It's not to late to save. Your friend has 15 years till she's 70. Saving 10% of her income now would give her around 2 years of her current income plus high SS. At a $100k salary that's better than the median savings a 70 yr old has.

Most likely little chance of retiring at 62 though.

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Old 11-16-2022, 03:32 PM   #26
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From the history as described, i.e. in particular wanting to retire in 7 years, as well as an employment history in MLM, and retirement accounts having bankruptcy protection, I don't believe that her situation is primarily medically induced (although some people certainly are financially devastated by medical bills.)

I have two snake-bit financial friends. One was recently hinting around for a loan. They ask for advise, don't listen, and continue to complain about their situation.

BTW, one of the hardest working, non-whiny, personally honest, most fiscally responsible persons I know is a paraplegic.

You have received a lot of good advice on this thread.

Whether she will actually listen AND put in the effort to follow the advise
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Old 11-16-2022, 03:46 PM   #27
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All of the above is spot on. In addition to budgeting and cutting expenses, can she increase her earnings and thus her savings rate by getting a part time job?
If she is truly serious, then she needs to do whatever she can to make up for lost time.
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Old 11-16-2022, 04:34 PM   #28
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I disagree. It's not to late to save. Your friend has 15 years till she's 70. Saving 10% of her income now would give her around 2 years of her current income plus high SS. At a $100k salary that's better than the median savings a 70 yr old has.

Most likely little chance of retiring at 62 though.
Most likely little chance of an invention or growing business; more likely have to save.

Saving 10% is likely insufficient.

Saving 50% may require a larger income in relation to fixed expenses but then each year worked results in one less year in retirement to fund and at least 1 more year of retirement expenses saved - where expenses while working equal expenses while retired - more than 1 year where expenses are less in retirement.

Saving 50% means value spending only.
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Old 11-17-2022, 05:36 AM   #29
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The only thing I'd add is "start with the end in mind" and work with specific numbers.
How much money will she need annually in retirement (whenever that is). How much Social Security will she get (play around with calculators and various inputs). Then, what's the monetary gap between need and SS? Take that number times 25 (or higher) to determine how much she needs in her portfolio. Lastly, what's that mean in annual savings (maybe adding 3% annually for real investment growth).
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:08 AM   #30
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There is no easy answer in this situation. I cannot improve on the comments above.
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:21 AM   #31
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( ie let the kids hold some money for her so she qualifies for help)
I find this shameful. Action like this may take away a spot from someone who really needs the help.

The OP's friend needs a second, and maybe a third job. Live on next to nothing and save.
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:26 AM   #32
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Lots of good advice here.

I think one thing mentioned but that I would prioritize finding a similarly situated roommate. Possibly one that she could live with throughout retirement. Cut expenses dramatically.

As stated she needs to look at all her costs. Her plan sppears to not be realistic. Only by changing course does ANY reasonable retirement plan become so.

She can save a lot in theory if she puts her mind to it.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:10 AM   #33
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Don't advise her. ...
What i say to ppl like that: "I'm not qualified to give advice"
^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^^

Your friend is not really looking for advice. Based on her history, any of the good advice that others have suggested will just go in one ear and out the other. Especially the advice about cutting back on expenses and working more.

When she fails--and she almost certainly will--she will blame you. And along the way, every time she bypasses an expense she will blame you for "taking" it from her.

Sympathize with her plight and recommend a couple of good (and short!) books. Then step back.


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Old 11-23-2022, 06:50 PM   #34
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It all depends on what she will receive for SS and how much she spends.

I have a friend retiring next month that will only have SS and $11k annually in income from an apartment that he rents out. He also has about $70k saved. He'll be fine since he doesn't spend a lot.
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Old 11-23-2022, 08:18 PM   #35
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That guy Dave has a thing about "beans and rice & rice and beans". It may work.
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:06 AM   #36
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It all depends on what she will receive for SS and how much she spends.

I have a friend retiring next month that will only have SS and $11k annually in income from an apartment that he rents out. He also has about $70k saved. He'll be fine since he doesn't spend a lot.
Many of these calculations are based on routine expenses- but what happens when the rental house needs a new roof or the car needs replacing?

Yep- beans and rice, rice and beans.
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:18 AM   #37
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Don't advise her. I know someone who retired at 60 and still blames the benefit office because they advised her it was possible. Actually what they told her was you can draw a pension at 60, they didn't say it was a good idea. And in her situation it was not a good idea. Giving advice to someone who has 10K saved at the age of 55 and wishes to retire in 7 years is a great way to lose a friend

What i say to ppl like that: "I'm not qualified to give advice"
This advice is spot on!
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:29 AM   #38
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Much as I like the idea of someone retiring as soon as possible, the situation tells me 7 years is probably not enough and if she is healthy enough, she will need to consider working until 65 or maybe 70 and NOT taking SS until then. You might not open with that information... if you can lead her to see it for herself that will be helpful.
I agree with this, and want to emphasize the health aspect of it. If she is currently healthy, she needs to do whatever she can to stay healthy. If she is not healthy, she needs to do what she can to improve her health.

You cannot always get what you want. She may want to to retire in 7 years, but perhaps she needs to hear "forget about retiring, you need to make sure your day to day living and saving is in order, because you likely will need that for a long time".
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:44 AM   #39
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This sounds like my daughter's MIL. She moved here to Texas from Alabama to be near her grandson. She was broke, long divorced and working for Walmart at age 60 or so. Nothing saved.

She moved in with DD and husband to wait out a 2+ year waiting list to get into a Section 8 apartment. Well, she got in and decided to "retire" at 62 on about $1,000/month. Well, that went well until her car quit for good.

Now she's living with a male "friend" and both are struggling. Too bad she didn't make it to 65 where her SS may have been 30% more and she would have been Medicare eligible (and Medicare is NOT FREE).

To the OP: There are millions of folks like your friend in the same boat in this country. Just research Section 8 housing and you will see the landscape. It's not pretty.

Heed Gayl's advice noted above.
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Old 11-24-2022, 08:18 AM   #40
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I've helped my brother get out of a similar situation after his spendthrift wife died. He was 55 and about the only thing he had to his name was a house in a bad neighborhood, an old car and a union pension that along with SS would cover about 80% of his fairly meager lifestyle.

But we worked it over the course of two years with the classics. Tight budget, kill the credit card debt, get an emergency fund in place, start a simple 60/40 monthly investment regimen ... and plan on working until 70.

He was motivated and was a hard worker all his life, so he took to it with gusto.

When last I checked his investments + savings/emergency fund was closing in on $150k. He ended up marrying a nice woman who was in a slightly better position but not much. They sold his house a few months which added another $175k to the investment pile.

She has a modest government pension coming. When you sweep it all together, the movie will end well.

But step 1 is the OP's friend realizing there is no way for them to retire in 7 years.
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