How We Retired With Almost No Savings

contributed by C.S.

Wondering how best to stretch a small retirement fund? See how one couple retired with almost no savings. In fact, less than $10k in retirement savings and they’re making it work!

We were not a couple that retired with thousands of dollars. In fact we retired with less than $10,000. We have been retired now for 4 years and so far are doing fine. However we did take some steps before we retired.

The last year my husband worked, we lived on retirement funds only just to make sure we could do it. Our budget included all the bills, a fund for car repairs, medicines, and things that come up once a year like homeowners insurance and real estate taxes. This fund requires we put $759 a month in it which we do.

Another thing we did was go on Medicare plus a supplemental insurance plan type F. We have both had cataract surgery. I had cancer surgery and we visit our doctors regularly. We never pay a penny out of pocket. What Medicare does not pay the supplement does.

We save monthly at least $100 per month. It’s not much, but it keeps adding to our savings, which we would only touch in a emergency. We owe no one anything. No credit card debt. Our car and truck are paid for and our home is paid for.

Before we retired we kept paying down debt with my husband’s paycheck while we were living on Social Security. We also installed siding with insulation on our home, new windows that are insulated, and installed a 30 year roof.

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We shop frugally. Our groceries cost us $50 a week. We shop Aldis, Dollar Tree and our Kroger store loss leaders. This includes paper products, cleaning supplies, cat food and litter. Our local Family Dollar runs a coupon in the paper, $5 off when you spend $25. They do this about twice a month. I will go in and spend $25 and get our paper products, trash and Ziploc bags plus shampoo. It’s like getting $5 of stuff free.

I keep a well stocked pantry and I have 3 small chest freezers full of meats and frozen vegetables that I have bought on sale. I also cook from scratch. We do eat out, but we eat at low cost mom and pop places. We use coupons from the paper and we also go for lunch because it’s cheaper.

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We take day trips most of the time when we do a vacation. Occasionally we will go and stay somewhere overnight 2 or 3 days. We always research and find a reasonable motel before we go. We try to find one with a pool and breakfast. I will carry snacks and drinks for our lunch and we will eat supper at local and unique places. Our last trip was to Tennessee and we ate at a bagel shop with any kind of bagel you could imagine and a wonderful BBQ place with a buffet.

Just wanted everyone to know it is doable to retire without a lot of money if you plan ahead.

Reviewed August 2019

You deserve a comfortable retirement.

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You deserve a comfortable retirement.

Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to people 50 years and older. Each issue features financial topics and other issues important to the 50+ crowd that can help you plan for a comfortable retirement even if you haven't saved enough.

Debt ChecklistSubscribers get The After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist for FREE!

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