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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Future looks bleak for this 55-year-old

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 02, 2012 09:00 am
Q.: I am 55 years old and single, and I am feeling the pinch of not having planned for my retirement. I clear $295 a week and have a monthly expense of $350 for my car payment. I don't own a house. My credit card bills are around $1,800. Other monthly expenses run about $250.I am thinking about getting a zero-interest credit card and combining my credit card bills to get my monthly payment down to $100. I would also like to start investing in a 401(k). My health may take a toll if I add a part-time job. Any suggestions? – J.B., via email

A.: You have made an understatement when you say you haven't planned well. Having a car payment in excess of a week's pay is absolutely unforgivable. You should consider replacing it with a far less expensive vehicle.

I don't know where the money would come from to invest in a 401(k). Given your current situation, if your income doesn't improve, I don't see you being able to retire for the next 15 years or more. Getting the zero-interest credit card is not the answer.

I wish there was something more cheerful that I could pass on to you, but the reality is that Social Security will not provide enough for you to live on, and you have no savings. Good luck.

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