I have been reading your emails. You see I always thought I had a good head on my shoulders and made good decisions but I am seeing now how wrong I was.
You see I have not been thinking about the future and have not been making meaningful goals and now I am in serious trouble and don’t have much time to fix it. I will be 50 yrs old this month (August) I only have five more years in my job and I am not prepared for retirement AT ALL!!!! I am not married and do not have a husband or children and yet I am not financially prepared to retire.
My mistakes were that I did not try to pay off my mortgage as soon as possible. It was my intention at first, however when the guy at the mortgage company refused to take my first payment and told me I am not allowed to do that until about a year or two years after, I forgot about it (big mistake). In my job I was allowed to apply for over time and I rarely did. I loved my job and use to thoroughly enjoy going to work and I use to say money is not everything and I was just happy to have a job. Now things are really going bad for me on the job and I can no longer apply for the overtime I failed to apply for. If I had applied for all my overtime when I supposed to I would have paid off my mortgage a long time ago. I also got a credit card and use to run up thousands and thousands of dollars on it. (I have gotten rid of it since).
Now reflecting on where I am at. I do not have much money saved. I have my own home and have been doing some work on it. I paid off all my other debts and trying to completely pay off my mortgage. I did not want to take a loan to do the work on the house so I took money I got as back pay and almost all my emergency savings to do the work. The work is still not completed but I am determined not to borrow any money to do it. Beside my emergency savings I had another savings account and I took most of the money from that and paid a lump sum on my mortgage. However I still have a good way to go again. My main focus right now is to pay off my mortgage AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
I don’t have any investments at all and I have very little savings. My country does not have a 401k or IRA. However I will be checking to see what there is that is similar.
I am in a mess. I have acknowledged my mistakes and working on correcting them. I never had any financial education. I never knew anything about money other than earning it, saving some and spending some. But to use it to make it grow, I was and still is totally ignorant. I do not know anything about stocks and bonds. I keep hearing about them but don’t know much about them. Can you help me salvage what I can for retirement?
I offered her some advice and also said I’d post the email for ESI Money readers to offer suggestions.
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