7 Ways to Save for Retirement Even If You’re Broke

September 1, 2015

Ann Brenoff at The Huffington Post has great tips for boosting your retirement savings, even if you think you are unable to start saving. 

For more information on retirement strategies, contact Freedom First Wealth Management to speak to one of our advisors.


The numbers aren't pretty: More than a third of Americans haven't saved a nickel for retirement. About 36 percent of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or defined benefits plans such as traditional pensions, and 60 percent of workers have less than $25,000, according to the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates.

So basically what are you supposed to do if you are broke, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and are staring down the double barrels at retirement without adequate savings?


Here are suggestions from Jamie Kalamarides, head of Institutional Investment Solutions at Prudential Retirement:

1. The third paycheck.

Many people are paid bi-weekly, meaning they get 26 paychecks per calendar year. During two months of the year, they get three checks instead of two. "Save the third paycheck in those two months and you will have saved 1/12 of your salary each year that you can contribute to your retirement," said Kalamarides. Many financial planners suggest socking away between 10 percent and 15 percent of your income for retirement, starting in your 20s. That's just a general guideline though and if you are post-50, the rule is more like "every cent you can."

2. Stop using check-cashing services.

 These services often charge considerable fees. If you are eligible, join a credit union instead. A household with a net income of $20,000 a year can save as much as $1,200 annually in check-cashing fees, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

"Credit unions are a terrific way for low- and moderate-income families to gain access to the banking system," said Kalamarides.


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