The Motley Fool

No retirement savings at 55? Here’s what to do

It’s no secret that many British adults in their 50s are finding themselves a bit short in the retirement savings department. For example, a recent poll of 2,620 adults by Skipton Building Society found that one in 10 adults over the age of 55 don’t have a single penny saved for their future. Worrying, isn’t it?

While having no retirement savings at 55 is clearly not ideal, it’s also not the end of the world. It’s not too late to put a savings plan in place now and rescue your retirement. With discipline, and perhaps a little entrepreneurialism, it’s definitely possible to build up a sizeable nest egg, in order to ensure that you’re not forced to live off the State Pension (which is just £164 per week) alone. Here’s a look at several wealth-building ideas for those looking to boost their retirement savings at the last minute.

Claim your FREE copy of The Motley Fool’s Bear Market Survival Guide.

Global stock markets may be reeling from the coronavirus, but you don’t have to face this down market alone. Help yourself to a FREE copy of The Motley Fool’s Bear Market Survival Guide and discover the five steps you can take right now to try and bolster your portfolio… including how you can aim to turn today’s market uncertainty to your advantage. Click here to claim your FREE copy now!

Disciplined savings

If you’re 55 now, and willing to push your retirement back to 67, that gives you 12 years to sort your finances out. A lot can be achieved in that kind of long-term time frame.

For example, an individual saving £500 a month, and earning 7% per year on that money through lower-risk growth investments could potentially end up with a savings pot of nearly £110,000 after 12 years. That amount of savings could certainly help you live a more comfortable lifestyle in retirement.

Non-essential expenses

One way to boost your savings is by cutting back on non-essential expenses. These days, many of us tend to buy a whole lot of things we don’t actually need and this can play havoc with our finances. Reining-in non-essential expenditure can free up a significant amount of cash that can be invested for the future.

Do you really need the latest iPhone? By holding on to your old phone and paying for a basic ‘SIM only’ plan you could save yourself £40-£50 per month. Do you really need satellite TV? While Sky and Virgin packages can cost over £100 per month, Netflix is available for just £5.99 per month meaning that a switch could potentially free up almost £100 per month alone. By analysing your expenditure and cutting back on things that you don’t really need, you could potentially save another few hundred per month. That could make a big difference to your savings pot over time.

Turn hobbies into cash

Another idea for those with no savings, is to set up a part-time business on the side and earn some extra cash. According to recent research from OneFamily, one in 10 over-50s now has a ‘side hustle’ on top of their full-time job. On average, these people earn £326 per month, which is no doubt a nice little salary boost.

These days, with the help of freelance websites, it’s easier than ever to pick up a little work on the sidelines. Whether your hobby is painting, gardening, dog-walking, baking, hairdressing or even accounting, you can be sure that someone will be in need of your services and be prepared to pay you for it. A little entrepreneurialism could have a big impact on your wealth over time.

Having no retirement savings at 55 is not an ideal situation. However, at that that age, there’s still time to turn things around if you act quickly. Put a savings plan in place, and you may be able to salvage your retirement after all.

Want To Retire Early?

Do you want to retire early and give up the rat race to enjoy the rest of your life? Of course you do, and to help you accomplish this goal, the Motley Fool has put together this free report titled "The Foolish Guide To Financial Independence", which is packed full of wealth-creating tips as well as ideas for your money.

The report is entirely free and available for download today, so if you're interested in exiting the rat race and achieving financial independence, click here to download the report. What have you got to lose?