Author Topic: Any hope for starting at 45?  (Read 10909 times)

robhortn

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Any hope for starting at 45?
« on: November 25, 2014, 01:07:31 PM »
Hey all,

I only recently found this site.  I'm turning 45 next month, have about 5k to my name (total assets), and have a lot of debt (about 60k and also a mortgage). Right now I have about 1k/month that I can apply to getting rid of debt.  I have no life insurance, no retirement savings (other than whatever SS will be for me).  This site really inspires me but I fear maybe it's too late for me to be a Mustachian and achieve financial independence.  I feel like perhaps the "best" I can hope for it just get outta debt in time for retirement and hope for SS benefits.  That seems kinda bleak perhaps but it's where my head is at.  Can anybody out there offer some hope?

Thanks,
Rob


UPDATE:  Here is the link to my personal Case Study for those who asked for that.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/topic-title-reader-case-study-starting-at-45-any-hope/
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 12:25:18 PM by robhortn »

boarder42

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2014, 01:10:31 PM »
gonna need a lot more information than that.  but its never too late to start.  but to get help here you need to layout your finances if you're comfortable doing it and we would be glad to help get you started down the path to FI

MandalayVA

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2014, 01:11:59 PM »
Hi, Rob--

You may want to do a Case Study laying out your debts and expenditures so we can see where your money is going and ways to cut spending.  Don't lose hope!

Another Reader

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2014, 01:12:25 PM »
If you post your income and expenses per the case study template, you will get a lot of suggestions.  I don't think it is at all impossible to FIRE, but how much you will have and how long it will take depends on these numbers.

robhortn

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2014, 01:15:34 PM »
Thank you.  I will create a case study then.  That helps and I appreciate it.

neo von retorch

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2014, 01:19:13 PM »
As everyone said, once we know more, we can help.

Reaching FI is something you can roughly determine with math. For example, if you make $2000/month after taxes and are saving $1000/month right now, you're at -$55,000 in net worth right now, and would ideally have a nest egg of 25 times $12,000 annual expenses or $300,000. At this rate, it would take up to 30 years (but less given that you invest your savings and see the value increase over time.) But this would also accelerate assuming that those expenses include current required debt payments.

I probably shouldn't make up any more examples until we know more! But once we see where your expenses are, we can what you have the power to change so you can speed things up!

SeŮora Savings

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2014, 01:21:22 PM »
I second that it isn't too late.  You probably have some assets that you aren't thinking of...like a better paying job than you had in your twenties, maybe a car, maybe a large collection of Star Wars action figures that you can sell off.  It may be unrealistic for you to retire at 50, but every $1000 you save now is (at least) an extra $1000 that you'll have in the future.

Another plus to living the MMM life: if you learn clever ways to be happier on less, you may find that being debt free with SS is as much as you need to live a good life.

SingleMomDebt

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2014, 01:24:04 PM »
Oh. Link ur case study here so I can follow. I'm 42 w 60K in debt.  Never too late Robhortn! welcome.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2014, 01:24:51 PM »
My mom used to joke that her retirement plan was to move in with me. Somewhere around 50, I got nervous and responded with, "I hope that's a joke, because you're not moving in with me!"

Turns out it wasn't a joke. We had a pretty awkward conversation/fight about that.

BUT - On her 60th birthday, she thanked me for being frank with her. She had, apparently, started aggressively saving and trying to shore up her retirement resources. She confided that she had made significant strides and though she wasn't going to be jetsetting in retirement, she felt comfortable and secure about her finances.

She's not sure when she'll quit working - but she feels good about the fact that if something were to happen where she needed to quit, she could do so. She told me that it's been an enormous positive change for her confidence.

So the moral of the story is that no - it's not too late.

Think of it this way: When you're starting from nothing, every little bit is an improvement. It's only uphill from here.

amfal

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2014, 01:26:34 PM »
I am interested in the responses too. I am just starting here. I will be doing a case study later, but am the same age, although I think I have a better start point (No debt except mortgage and assets/401k) I still feel far behind!

Gone Fishing

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2014, 02:53:01 PM »
Well shoot, even at 1k a month, you should be out of debt by 50.  Start investing that 1k a month then and keep it up until you are 67 and if you can average 8% you will have $400k, a paid off house and full SS benefits.  Doesn't sound too bad to me.  But if you want to retire earlier than that, it will take some serious saving/investing.

Exflyboy

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2014, 09:35:59 PM »
I started in my late 30's (with minus $160k)

I retired in January at 52.

Check out my blog

Frank

Primm

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2014, 09:44:58 PM »
I'm a late starter as well - 45 before I clued in to this way of thinking.

I figure even if I don't retire a whole lot earlier than my compatriots, it will be a lot more comfortably.

happy

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2014, 04:52:19 AM »
Even later starter here!. Started MMMing Jan 2102 @ age 53. On current projections I'll Retire Earlier @60, instead of 67 or so.  To be fair I had positive net worth when I started but due to poor planning, asset allocation was all wrong with no cash flow.

Nickyd£g

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2014, 05:02:42 AM »
Late starter here too - I'm 43, £14,000 in consumer debt and still £42,000 on my mortgage, earning £26,000 a year.  I won't retire early but have made some changes in recent months - since finding MMM - that mean I feel more contented, in control and can look forward to getting out of debt within 20 months then saving like mad.

It's not too late Rob, you can do it!

NewStachian

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2014, 06:19:57 AM »
The people on this site can work wonders with the data that you put in a case study. The most important thing, regardless of what your FI date is,  is that you identified this as a problem and are willing to take steps to fix it. And, I don't think there's a better community to help you do this than here.

BPA

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2014, 07:18:56 AM »
Hi Rob!

It's never too late to not be a consumer sukka.

As you begin to spend more in line with your own values, your cost of living will go down which will allow you to pay off debt and save more.

I always love stories where people are your age or older, make some lifestyle tweaks, and suddenly realize they are FI.

Latebloomer in NY

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2014, 07:49:16 AM »
Hi Rob,
I've got you beat by five years. I turned 50 over the summer, but since I started this way of thinking, I've paid off my credit cards (10K), changed cell phone plans (saved $50/mo.), and started shopping at Aldi's (saved another $100/mo.). Just these tiny steps can start to make a huge difference and build some momentum. I've got a long way to go too, but the progress feels great. Good luck!

UnleashHell

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2014, 07:57:51 AM »
In 2008 I was 41 and had nearly 280k of debt
In the following 4 years the house I owned dropped 100k in value (wiping out my 2008 net worth!) and I lost my job and was without work for 5 months.
But by working on the debt (although not as seriously as I have since I found this place) by the time I was 46 I had dropped the debt to under 100k and increased my net worth to over 400k. In 2009 I paid about 27,000 in interest to other people. Next year the figure is going to be about 700.
Theres no magic wand. Read everything here and use what you can. It doesnít happen overnight but the moves you make NOW can dramatically affect your future. Having a clue what to do help (thatís why you are here) and putting a plan into place is where your input matters.

Iím hoping that my situation could be 9 years from overburdened with debt and barely being able to see a way out to the possibility of a debt free retirement at 50. It can be done.

pachnik

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2014, 07:58:41 AM »
I started here at 48 with no debt however.  I will probably retire in my late 50's or at 60. 

As you spend time here and apply what you learned your debt will go down and your spending will go lower.  One example of my own, I used to start every work day with a coffee from McDonalds + a newspaper.  Cost about $3.50 daily.  I did this for perhaps a decade.  Stopped doing it when i found this website and don't miss it at all.  Actually, one day last week my schedule worked out that I could do this on the way to work and it seemed like too much of a hassle. 

Anyway, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what age you are for improving your financial situation.  It is a good thing to do regardless.

dude

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2014, 07:59:32 AM »
No way is it too late.  You won't likely ER, but you for sure can set yourself up for a decent FI by age 65.  Attack those debts, cut those expenses, seek contentment in real experiences and not consumerist spending, maybe try to earn some extra cash on the side, and you still have a chance.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 08:03:32 AM by dude »

SMCx3

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2014, 08:10:58 AM »
Rob,

We are very close in age, and I just found MMM around 45 days ago.  I have some savings in place, but did not have a defined budget until I punched myself in the face a few times.  I have a new budget using Mint (Cool tool), lowered my car insurance, cut my phone expenses, cut the chord - now Netflix (no regrets), cut my food expenses by 35% taking lunch to work while eating out once every two weeks. 

No matter what your financial situation I must say everyone around this forum is doing very similar things in regards to money while they work on finances.  Forget the money, I found more time for my family, talked more with my wife about our future in the last 30 days than I have in twenty years, not so stressed about work, even noticed my pants are fitting me better.  This is all in 30 days of applying some of the knowledge others have shared on this forum.

Take one step at a time and this place will keep you headed out of debt.

SC

kendallf

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2014, 08:27:31 AM »
Like other respondents, let me say there's hope! 

I'm 48 and on track to retire at 56.. although I could probably go sooner if I wanted to forgo retirement health coverage.  I started paring down my lifestyle several years ago and found MMM about 2 years ago.  Looking back 5 years to 2009:

43 years old, approximately $300k in debt with ~$30-40k in consumer debt.  Sky high annual expenses, barely making all of my payments.  Constant $5k balance in my overdraft protection credit line (!), credit cards maxed.  About $120k in retirement account; this has just dropped about 40% from ~$200k the previous year.  Real estate values dropping like a rock, interest only mortgage on acreage where the developer has just gone bankrupt.  Not a pretty picture!

It's a slow process getting out, but it's amazing what a positive change it will make in your life just to get your finances under control.

UnleashHell

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2014, 08:30:30 AM »
one more thing to the OP - now you have found this site and have worked out what can work for you then can you find a compelling reason NOT to do it? Just the fact that you are here and questioning what you have previously found normal indicates that you aren't happen with the position you find yourself in. I'd bet that you think its time the status quo changed..

Lian

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2014, 08:44:48 AM »
I can only reinforce what others have already said here. It is never too late to start! Early retirement may not be a possibility, but so what. FI is a good place to be at any age, and that is still achievable for you.

2ndTimer

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2014, 08:46:02 AM »
Well, we FIRED once and then I became quite ill and we re-entered the system.  Got back on the horse at 55.  Currently aiming for a comfortable retirement at the "normal" age.  Our take is, yes, it's too late for us to retire early again but retirement at 65 in our own house, with our pets beats the Hell out of living under a bridge.  You are 10 years ahead of us.

epipenguin

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2014, 09:32:12 AM »
Yeah, maybe we won't be able to retire in our 40's but a comfortable retirement with no debts is pretty sweet. And hey, if you think of retiring at 67 as normal retirement age (based on the social security full retirement age), then anything earlier than that is "early", right? Even 65.

My goal is not actually to retire early, but to work part-time and set my own schedule. I'm still working on cutting my expenses, but I'm getting there.

robhortn

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2014, 12:30:53 PM »
Everybody - thanks for your replies.  Its good to find "community" and I certainly need that. The worst thing about any of this is to feel like you're the only one going through it, or that has screwed it up.  Its very encouraging to see others who are in similar situations and making positive strides or have even been through it already and came out on the other side in great shape.  Thanks again!

For those interested here is the case study I wrote up.  I hope I did it well enough for a look-see.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/topic-title-reader-case-study-starting-at-45-any-hope/

Kaspian

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2014, 01:07:28 PM »
Hell no, it ain't too late!  Get crackin' now, buddy, and you could be out of the workforce well before your peers.

I'm a late-starter too--currently 43.  Found this site in June 2012.  No debt at the time, net worth around $83K.  A year and a half later my net worth is $196K.   How about 'dem apples?  :D  Not only have I never felt "denied" by ideas presented, life has improved in more ways than I can easily count.    ...And my bank account thanks me.

Allen

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2014, 02:10:50 PM »
There is NO age except 'dead' beyond which adopting Mustachian principles won't make you better off financially today and in the future.

robhortn

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2014, 03:54:09 PM »
In 2008 I was 41 and had nearly 280k of debt
In the following 4 years the house I owned dropped 100k in value (wiping out my 2008 net worth!) and I lost my job and was without work for 5 months.
But by working on the debt (although not as seriously as I have since I found this place) by the time I was 46 I had dropped the debt to under 100k and increased my net worth to over 400k. In 2009 I paid about 27,000 in interest to other people. Next year the figure is going to be about 700.
Theres no magic wand. Read everything here and use what you can. It doesnít happen overnight but the moves you make NOW can dramatically affect your future. Having a clue what to do help (thatís why you are here) and putting a plan into place is where your input matters.

Iím hoping that my situation could be 9 years from overburdened with debt and barely being able to see a way out to the possibility of a debt free retirement at 50. It can be done.

Unleashed, that is quite a story! Thanks for sharing it. It provides a lot of encouragement and for sure, shows it can be done.  Sorry to hear you had to go through all that but thanks for sticking it out and taking some time to share the story here.

robhortn

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2014, 03:55:31 PM »
No way is it too late.  You won't likely ER, but you for sure can set yourself up for a decent FI by age 65.  Attack those debts, cut those expenses, seek contentment in real experiences and not consumerist spending, maybe try to earn some extra cash on the side, and you still have a chance.

Thanks dude!

UnleashHell

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2014, 04:48:17 AM »
Unleashed, that is quite a story! Thanks for sharing it. It provides a lot of encouragement and for sure, shows it can be done.  Sorry to hear you had to go through all that but thanks for sticking it out and taking some time to share the story here.

no problem. I think that having been through it gives me the motivation to never return to the days when you are owned by other people via debt. Especially when those other people are actually heartless bastard corporations who don't give a fuck about you apart from making money at YOUR expense.

Get tracking your assets, liabilities and debt. there'll still be times when it looks impossible but after a while you can go back to your tracking tool and see how much progress you've made. Next year i'll be paying over 25k less in interest than 5 years ago. That's a hell of a pay raise....

Westoftown

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2014, 07:32:13 AM »
Like other respondents, let me say there's hope! 

I'm 48 and on track to retire at 56.. although I could probably go sooner if I wanted to forgo retirement health coverage.  I started paring down my lifestyle several years ago and found MMM about 2 years ago.  Looking back 5 years to 2009:

43 years old, approximately $300k in debt with ~$30-40k in consumer debt.  Sky high annual expenses, barely making all of my payments.  Constant $5k balance in my overdraft protection credit line (!), credit cards maxed.  About $120k in retirement account; this has just dropped about 40% from ~$200k the previous year.  Real estate values dropping like a rock, interest only mortgage on acreage where the developer has just gone bankrupt.  Not a pretty picture!

It's a slow process getting out, but it's amazing what a positive change it will make in your life just to get your finances under control.

Great job!  By the way, I LOVE your tag line about the absence of defined goals.  That is a powerful and true statement for so many.  I had to stop and really think about that for a few minutes.

NinetyFour

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Re: Any hope for starting at 45?
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2014, 12:57:00 PM »
At age 45, I bought a house at the peak of the market with no money down.  Yikes.  In over my head is an understatement!!  Then the house lost value and was underwater for a few years.

Fast forward to now:  because of refinancing and lots of MMM-inspired changes, my net worth has increased dramatically.  So yeah, age 45 is not too late to start--not by a long shot.  Good luck.