Money Monday: How To Make Sure You’re Not Working At Walmart When You’re 65

BY: - 19 Mar '12 | Money

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Just recently I checked into a hotel late in the evening. As I was getting my luggage out of the car I was surprised by the appearance of the bellhop. No, this wasn’t a young twenty-something, but rather a frail gray-haired gentlemen.

As he struggled with the weight of the luggage cart I couldn’t help but lend him a hand. All the while I was thinking to myself, why is this man pushing a luggage cart instead of enjoying his retirement?

He reminded me of the white haired lady working at the gas station whose hands were so arthritic that she had trouble taking my money and the elderly Walmart employees I frequently saw working alongside teenagers a third of their age.

Retirement is the ten-ton elephant in the room that nobody likes to talk about. We all know it’s coming, but most of us simply ignore it. Yes, we understand that we should save for it, but life gets in the way.

According to a CNN-Money report, 60% of workers have less than $25,000 saved and only 14% of workers feel “very confident” that they’ll have enough to live a comfortable retirement.

Experts generally agree that putting away between 10% to 15% of your income is one of the best strategies for ensuring secure Golden Years. But with many of us living paycheck to paycheck, where do we find the money?

Consider these strategies for building a golden nest egg:

Cut the fat

Let’s face it, we frequently pay more than we need to for a wide variety of goods and services. By “trimming the fat,” we can use the savings to fund our retirement.

When is the last time you called around to secure the lowest car and home insurance rates? Could you use websites like to find ways to lower your cell phone or cable bill? Perhaps you could challenge your property tax assessment or consider refinancing your mortgage to take advantage of unprecedented low interest rates.

The more you look, the more you’ll find that your personal finances are littered with fat. Find ways to cut it and you could set yourself up for a sweet retirement.

Make simple lifestyle changes

Small simple lifestyle changes implemented over years or decades could seriously increase your retirement nest egg. Consider, for instance, taking your lunch to work instead of visiting the cafeteria or food trucks. You could easily save $800 a year. A 25-year-old investing the savings in a retirement account earning 8% interest would earn over $210,000 for retirement with just this one small lifestyle change alone.

Sacrifice a sacred cow or two

Sacred cows are those expenses that never get questioned. Come hell or high water, we’ll find a way to pay for them. Perhaps it’s because society tells us these items are the 21st Century “essentials” that everyone needs.

Smartphones, weekly hair appointments, cable television, his and hers cars, and dining out on a consistent basis are just a few of the more common sacred cows.

But are all our sacred cows really necessary? Could we sacrifice our iPhone and its expensive data plan for the sake of building a retirement nest egg? Is cable television today worth struggling in retirement thirty years from now?

Take a close look at your sacred cows and see if any of them can be slaughtered to secure your Golden Years.

Find a side hustle

Facebook, Twitter, Ebay, and Craigslist have given us numerous ways to start and expand our side hustles. Could you find a side business that would bring in ten to fifteen percent of your regular income? If so then you’ve found a great way to build your retirement fund.

Tutoring, freelance writing, furniture restoration, event planning, niche blogging, wedding photography, catering, and selling items on Ebay are just a few of the endless possibilities for bringing in the extra cash.

Put your savings on autopilot

It’s hard to spend money you never see. That’s the theory behind having automatic paycheck deductions directed to a savings or retirement account. You quickly become acclimated to a slightly smaller paycheck as you watch your savings grow. Don’t forget to participate in your company’s 401K plan, especially if your employer provides matching funds. That’s free money for the taking.

Retirement is something that’s so easy to overlook. But unless you want to be working at Walmart when you should be on the golf course, it’s something you should consider now. A little planning today will save you a world of hurt tomorrow.

BMWK, have you taken steps to save for retirement? How have you found the money to save? What advice would you give to others to help them secure their retirement?

About the author

Alonzo Peters wrote 298 articles on this blog.

Alonzo Peters is founder of, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Black America achieve financial independence.


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5 WordPress comments on “Money Monday: How To Make Sure You’re Not Working At Walmart When You’re 65

  1. Cheryl

    If you can’t say amen, say ouch! This is timely advice, and this was our new year resolution which we have not done anything about. I am jumping on this. Good advice, as always.

  2. Yana

    This is some great advice! You have me seriously thinking of all the things that I could definately cut out and live with out. Dental insurance is at the top of that list for sure! I have seperate dental insurance through my job and I have a  $110 a month allotment that comes out to cover it. In all honesty we don’t need it because our HMO covers a decent portion of dental expenses. That $110 could be going towards my Thrift savings…..

  3. Pingback: Money Monday: What's The Secret To A Secure Retirement? | Black and Married With - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

  4. Pingback: Money Monday: Four Money Rules For A Richer 2013 | Black and Married With - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

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Money Monday: Create Spending Barriers To Move Ahead Financially

BY: - 26 Mar '12 | Money

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I love Mike and Ikes.

I’m an addict for these small chewy fruit flavored pieces of candy. Like potato chips it’s nearly impossible for me to stop at just one. One piece, two pieces, three pieces, and before you know it I’ve gone through a large box.

Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to control myself, until recently.

My big breakthrough came after eating a few and then putting the rest of the box in my car. The hassle of going back out to the car to retrieve the box was greater than the temptation of my favorite candy treats.

It sounds silly, but it was extremely effective at solving my sugar gluttony.

So what do Mike and Ikes have to do with your personal finances? It’s simply. Human willpower is weak. That’s why we have so much trouble getting our money straight.

We have the best of intentions until the soft leather handbag, the unexpected night out on the town, or the latest iPad busts our budgets.

Like placing a half eaten box of Mike and Ikes in a car, sometimes it just makes sense to erect barriers to the spending behaviors that get us in trouble.

If you’re susceptible to the seduction of impulse shopping, don’t rely on willpower alone. Erect some barriers. Try this on for size. Learn to leave your credit cards in your glove compartment.

When you come across the “gotta-have” fashion or latest electronic gadget, walking back to your car to retrieve your plastic may be just the barrier you need to rethink your intended purchase.

Perhaps you have a weakness for daily deal websites or online shopping. Erect your barriers by deleting your Living Social and Groupon accounts. If you have a favorite online shopping website, you know that storing your address and credit card information on file makes it just too easy to order. Stop. Erect a barrier by deleting this information. Make it just a little more difficult for yourself to shop online.

Maybe you’re like me and having trouble paying attention to where your money is going. Before you know it, you have more month than money left. Again barriers to spending can help.

Have your discretionary spending money automatically transferred from your main checking account to a bank account for which you don’t possess an ATM or debit card. Whenever you need money for discretionary spending you now have to actually physically go to a bank to retrieve your money. This simple barrier can help you keep better track of your money and make your spending more judicious.

Barriers are not always a bad thing, especially when it comes to your finances. By creating barriers to frivolous or impulsive spending you pave the road to financial success.

BMWK, what are some of the barriers you could erect that would help you spend money more wisely?

About the author

Alonzo Peters wrote 298 articles on this blog.

Alonzo Peters is founder of, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Black America achieve financial independence.


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