Senior Managing Editor Rachel Gearhart and I sipped our double espressos while hunkered down in a Starbucks, sheltered from the nor’easter that pounded New York last week.
We watched with morbid fascination as blocks of slush the size of cantaloupes slid off awnings and rooftops, narrowly missing the passersby on Lexington Avenue.
We were in Manhattan for media interviews with Fox Business, Bloomberg Radio and others to promote my new book, You Don’t Have to Drive an Uber in Retirement: How to Maintain Your Lifestyle without Getting a Job or Cutting Corners.
Despite the weather, I was eager to get to my meetings to discuss the book. GOBankingRates released a new survey showing that 42% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement and 14% have nothing put away for when they are no longer working.
Of the respondents ages 55 to 64 who do not have anything saved for retirement, 70% said the reason was they made too little money or were struggling to pay bills.
That makes sense. It’s hard to contribute to an IRA when the wolf is at your door.
In my interviews, one question I was asked frequently was, “How do you generate income if you don’t have any capital?”
Frankly, it’s difficult. But what’s not hard is learning how to cut costs to free up some of your budget so that you can put it toward income-generating ideas or retirement savings.
In the book, I discuss simple ways of saving 25% off your next car, important strategies to save on taxes and Medicare costs, and how to get significant discounts and even cash back when you shop. I also warn you about why you should avoid popular but costly investments that could be robbing you of tens of thousands of dollars – money that should be yours to do with as you wish in retirement.
One of my favorite strategies for saving big bucks on prescription medicine is using a free app and website called GoodRx.
GoodRx allows you to find the cheapest price for your medication in your area. For example, the antidepressant Lexapro has an average retail price of $103.38. GoodRx shows you that if you’re in Philadelphia, you can get it for free at Sam’s Club or you can get 30 tablets for $10.50 at Costco, Wegmans and Giant Pharmacy – all with a free coupon provided by GoodRx.
If you bought your Lexapro at Wegmans for $10.50 instead of $103.38, you’d save $1,114 in a year. That’s $1,114 that can be used to fund a retirement or savings account.
If you have little or nothing saved for retirement, focus your efforts on reducing your expenses. Then once you have even a few hundred dollars, you can start using that money to build upon or generate some income as you continue to save.