Nearly everyone approaching retirement is going to have some concerns. How will I fill my time? Will I get bored? What will it be like being with my partner 24/7? But, without a doubt, the most common concern for impending retirees nowadays is; will I have enough money in my retirement? It was most definitely a major concern of mine and something I got really scared about.
Are you scared to retire? Are you concerned you won’t have sufficient income to live comfortably? If you are, you are not alone.
According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and quoting statistics from The National Retirement Risk Index, 50% of all households in the US now face retirement with insufficient income to maintain their current living standards. And this doesn’t even factor in future increases in healthcare!
If you fall within that 50% and are ready to do something about it, please read on.
I Know Where You Are Coming From
Believe me, I know where you are coming from.
My wife, Colette, and I were faced with exactly that situation just a few years ago.
After marrying in 1989 we spent the next fifteen years or so traveling around the world with the intention of getting back to earning some serious money after that. We had a great time and our plan seemed to be working out for us but just one failed business venture later, we were in trouble and what savings we had were gone. We tried to recuperate by taking a really high paying hotel management job in the Bahamas but a family emergency ended that and we were again back at square one.
By the time the family emergency had been resolved, we were desperate and knew we had to find a way of putting some money aside for our retirement, which was fast approaching. We accepted an offer to get involved in small hotel venture in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, South America, but when that fell through after just twelve months it seemed like the end of the world.
Approaching Retirement With Income Concerns Is Scary!
Many of the people now approaching retirement won’t have sufficient income to cover even the basics such as accommodation, food, and utilities, much less such ‘luxuries’ like a car, the occasional night out and an annual vacation. That’s a scary thought. It certainly scared us as we barreled towards retirement with the prospect of a monthly income of around $1,400.00!
Most of us have worked hard for all of our working lives. Even when we were traveling those fifteen years we were still working. It was just that we were only bringing in enough income to feed ourselves and then to move on to our next location. We had no opportunity to save. Then, a little bad luck, compounded by several poor financial decisions and we were in trouble.
The prospect of retirement without enough income to cover the basics caused us many sleepless nights but even if your situation is not as dire as ours was, I can well imagine what you must be going through.
So, what to do?
What About Postponing Retirement?
Postponing retirement is perhaps the most obvious answer and would certainly solve the immediate problem, provided that course is available to you and you are able to continue in your current employment. If it’s not then your only option is to start looking for another job and who wants to do that at our age? And even if the mind is willing maybe the body is not, especially when you start to factor in health concerns.
When we extricated ourselves from that last hotel situation in Quito we were mentally and physically exhausted and, despite our financial concerns, we just could not contemplate any more of the same. So we had to come up with another idea. And we did!
Consider Supplementing Your Income In Retirement
Although we didn’t have enough income to live on, we did have the prospect of some money coming in and so we decided what we had to do was work out how much more we needed to live comfortably and then find something that would produce that income for us. To keep our expenses down we decided initially to remain in Ecuador where the cost of living was far less than in the US and have since moved to Mexico where our cost of living is even less still.
Despite being in good health, and physically very fit, we decided that finding some online work was the best way for us to go. Even though we could have handled a more physical job, we realized that we would likely need to keep working, albeit (hopefully) part-time, for the foreseeable future and who knows what shape we will be in in a few years’ time.
So we lived on the internet for the next six months while we explored all kinds of different opportunities. We couldn’t believe the huge variety of work that is available online and at first, it was all a little bewildering, intimidating even. But we stuck with it and began to make a shortlist of the things we felt we would be capable of doing. Then, late one evening, after another monster session on the computer, Colette very excitedly announced; “what about affiliate marketing?”.
What on earth is affiliate marketing? Is what I said in response.
In case you don’t know what affiliate marketing is all about, let me start with a simple example.
If you have something you want to sell and I advertise that thing (at my expense) and find you a buyer then I have been performing affiliate marketing. You will complete the sale yourself and as my reward for finding that buyer, you will pay me a pre-agreed commission.
Almost all affiliate marketing is done on the world wide web where the affiliate marketer (me in the above example) advertises the products of others in one or more of a variety of ways, including on his (the affiliate marketer’s) website, through email campaigns and online videos. There are thousands of online stores or networks with affiliate programs that you can sign up to. The biggest and best-known example that I can give is Amazon.
Now, you are obviously not going to try and sell everything that is available on Amazon. You are going to specialize in a certain area (your niche) and which is typically something you are already interested in and quite likely know a lot about. Let’s say you are interested in cooking and have a kitchen full of all sorts of fun small appliances. This would make a great niche as there are literally thousands of small appliances available on Amazon that you could advertise on your website. You would attract potential purchasers to your website by writing and publishing interesting articles on topics related to the items you are advertising. When someone goes to Amazon and purchases one of those items you earn a commission from Amazon.
In practice, of course, there is a lot more involved, but that is the essence of it.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that it costs practically nothing to get started (that was huge for us). All you need physically is a computer and an internet connection. You will also need a website, hosting for that website and a little bit of training as you get started but there are programs available that will provide all that for as little as $29.00 per month. The only other thing you will need is patience because affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time for your website to gain authority and attract the visitors (traffic) who are going to buy the products you are advertising there.
So that’s what we do now, and we love it. We have an apartment overlooking the Pacific ocean in Manta and our days are spent researching products, writing, and working on our website.
If I have piqued your interest in affiliate marketing then I encourage you to check it out further. You can start by reading my post Affiliate Marketing for Retirees.
Working Online Means You Can Live Anywhere in The World
One of the great things about affiliate marketing is that it can be done from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. Now, that could mean simply moving to another state where the cost of living is less or if you are a little more adventurous, you could consider moving to another country.
Right now we choose to live on Cozumel on the Caribbean coast of Mexico but the world is our oyster. Many countries have immigration rules which are very retiree-friendly. Sure there is a ton of paperwork but when it’s done the expat lifestyle can be wonderful AND is typically going to be much cheaper than where you are living now.
Do you have any questions about the pros and cons of living in a foreign country? If you do then send them to us and we will be happy to answer them based on our experience of having lived and worked in thirteen different countries. You can also read my post Living Abroad After Retirement – What You Need to Know.
Approaching retirement with too little income is a scary prospect and affiliate marketing is a great solution that can work for virtually anyone. To see how easy it is to get started, see my post Affiliate Marketing for Retirees.
If affiliate marketing does not sound like your cup of tea then for some more, great income making ideas see Colette’s post Money Making Ideas for Retirees.
I hope you have found this article informative and useful. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to leave them in the Comments area below and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.
The greatest years of your life are still ahead!