When it comes to money, the first rule of modern-day retirement, is You cannot retire!
You may be able to quit your day job -- once you've put your 20 or 30 years in. But there are very few guaranteed pensions any more. In all likelihood, you'll be looking at a 401K, an investment subject to all the vicissitudes of the Wall Street Masters and their latest schemes for enriching themselves and robbing the rest of us.
Wait. That's not quite as bad as it sounds. (Okay, it sounds pretty bad) The key is to supplement whatever savings you've accumulated with some part-time income, in some new field (if possible) that you actually have an interest in.
We have Goals.
One goal is to be earning an extra $2,000 per month, after 4-6 months. No get-rich-quick schemes here. Just solid, legitimate, part-time, at-home work. And, hey, who can't use an extra two grand each month?
The upside? Many people are making upwards of $5,000 per month using a combination of these strategies.
The second goal is to have enough extra money, as a minimum, to take one mini-vacation per month -- just 3 or 4 days, maybe a pleasant drive to someplace new--, and two 2-week vacations per year. See RETIREMENT TRAVEL. We all need time off to maintain body and soul.
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First, let's talk about all of the many get-rich scams that are out there. You know, your inbox is filled with them every day. How can we sort through all the chaff to get at the Wheaties?
I don't know. Maybe you have some ideas.
One of my sources of guidance in these matters is Consumers Union and their monthly Consumer Reports (Hey, you have to put your trust in something). The June '09 issue has an interesting article titled, "Beware of work-at-home stings." They did in-depth investigations of three commonly promoted business ideas and rated these as stings: "Stuff envelopes! Get paid;" "The Google Money Tree kit;" and "Assemble products at home."
The "Google Money Tree," offer says you can make money just "filling out forms and doing searches on Google and Yahoo." You pay $3.88 mailing charges for the kit. "By so doing," Consumers says, "you consent to let Google Money Tree charge your account $72.21 a month for access to it's web site." Oh, and by the way, the "Google Money Tree" has no affiliation with Google.
I ran into a similar scam over "Free CD explaining how you can get Government Grant Money." By agreeing to receive the "free" CD, I was consenting to have $38/month charged to my account for "consulting." Fortunately I was able to cancel the deal in time.