“Why are the majority of American workers failing to keep up with retirement goals? Primarily, because they are caught up in a “leveraged finance future” which encumbers all future income with the payment of current debts.”

Ever analyze how much money you will need to retire?  Probably more money than you think.   If you think you need $100,000 per year to retire on (in addition to Social Security) you better retain over $2 million in assets by your proposed retirement age.

For more accurate information go to a financial planner and get a true sense of what will be required to really enjoy your retirement and live out the golden years in the way you really would like to live!   There are a few ways you can calculate your retirement goals, but the simplest method is to use a retirement calculator. Before you start plugging in your information, though, be sure your inputs are as accurate as possible. You’ll need to know a few numbers, like how much you anticipate spending each year in retirement, how long you’ll live in retirement, and how much you’ll be receiving in Social Security benefits.

More than half (56%) of workers globally are expected to fall short of their savings goals by more than 50%, according to a recent report from The Standard Chartered. Researchers studied workers around the world and asked about their “wealth aspirations,” or the amount they’re hoping to have saved by retirement age. The researchers then looked at participants’ “wealth expectancy,” or the amount they are expected to accumulate by the time they retire, and found that the majority of them will likely have less than half of the amount they hope to have saved by retirement age.

How can you overcome your current savings deficit and accomplish your goal of saving $2 million for retirement in the age of free spending and leveraged finance (credit cards, auto leases, etc)?   

  • Get free of your debt—file bankruptcy!
  • Minimize or Eliminate Federal and State Taxes-legally
  • Establish your own “home based” business (your own “Side Hustle”)

Okay so paying of your debt in a timely manner so that you can start investing your hard earned dollars wisely and quickly in order to get to your $2 million goal seems like a long shot.    The only meaningful and successful way to get out of the trap of leveraging your future is to file bankruptcy.   Yes, it seems a bit odd to advocate such an extreme measure; however, in most cases, filing bankruptcy makes a lot of sense.

How long will it take you to pay off your credit cards, student debts, auto payments and other miscellaneous loans or personal entanglements?   Maybe forever.   However, with bankruptcy, you can immediately stop paying on all personal debts other than “secured” debts such as car payments and mortgage loans.   Even those obligations can be successfully re-negotiated with a proper bankruptcy restructuring.

In most cases, the filing of a bankruptcy will free up to $12,000 per year from your personal debt expenditures.     That’s $1,000 per month!    Investing this $12,000 per year over 20 years could result in over $400,000 in savings over that time frame.

Not a bankruptcy candidate?   Then stay where you are but start maximizing your retirement plan deductions.    Under the new Internal Revenue Code regulations you can begin to maximize your 401k and or SEP or straight IRA planning in order to deduct from taxes and invest these dollars in the stock market or other suitable investment platform.

Current tax laws allow taxpayers over 50 with the ability to catch up on their retirement plan contributions with up to $64,000 in contributions!

What about that Side Hustle?  According to Matt Reinstetle at Penny Hoarder there are various ways to set up a business out of your home which can produce either a little or a lot of income.

  1. Ride-share Driving

Your car can be a valuable asset in the gig economy. Ride-share companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are always looking for drivers interested in making extra money.

  1. Meal Delivery

If driving around strangers in the back of your car doesn’t sound appealing to you, then try meal delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash, allow people to order takeout and have it delivered to their door.

  1. 3. Freelance Work

If you have a particular set of skills and want to make some money using them, join a freelance network. Services like Fiverr and Upwork connect people with freelancers specializing in fields like copywriting, graphic design, coding, digital marketing, financial consulting and much more.

  1. Listing Your Place on Airbnb

Have a spare room? Might as well try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

  1. Online Tutoring

If you have teaching experience, then here’s an opportunity to make some extra money from home. Online tutoring companies such as Tutor.comBrainfuse and TutorMe allow people with teaching or tutoring experience to instruct K-12 students and adults on different topics.

.6. Teaching English as a Second Language

This is another opportunity for teachers looking for work-from-home opportunities. Companies like VIPKid, QKids and Italki connect U.S. instructors with students wanting to learn English as a second language. Jennifer Ross, a former schoolteacher from Mount Dora, Florida, told The Penny Hoarder in 2018 that she earns $520 working 24 hours a week as a VIPKid instructor.

“And now I can live the stay-at-home dog-mom life,” Ross says with a laugh.

  1. Selling Craft Goods

Not all side hustles have to be service jobs. Consider making some money using your craft skills. Thanks to online platforms such as EtsyeBayShopify and Amazon Handmade, artists have several outlets to sell their items without leaving their home or studio.

  1. Delivering Groceries

Destiny Frith of Nashville, Tenn., works with Shipt eight to 10 hours a week to help pay off her credit card debt. William DeShazer for The Penny Hoarder

Some people hate going to the supermarket, which is why grocery delivery services are on the rise. Instacart and Shipt employ gig workers who go shopping, pick out requested items and deliver them to customers’ homes.

  1. Creating Online Courses

If you’re a master of a topic and wish to make some passive income, then consider creating an online course. Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, provided by companies like Udemy allow teachers and professionals to instruct students wanting to broaden their skills.

Instructors create the courses, which consist of audio, video, a PowerPoint-style presentation, practice assignments and exams, then charge a fee to enroll. The longer the course, the higher the pay.

According to Udemy, the site keeps 50% of the cost if the student finds the class on their platform, but the instructor keeps 97% of the course cost when the student signs up using an instructor coupon.

  1. Selling T-Shirts Online

If you’ve got ideas for catchy slogans or eye-catching graphics, why not put them on a T-shirt? Print-on-demand services such as  AmazonPrintful and Redbubble allow people to upload their designs and sell products without dealing with the hassles of inventory and shipping. Each shirt is made to order, and the designer receives a percentage of the sale.

There are many ways to improve your chances of putting together that $2 million nest egg for your retirement.    Check out these options and explore others!

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