Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Adopt Debt Free: Don't Neglect Your Retirement

While on our adventure to adopt debt free, we had three thoughts in the back of our minds. 

1. Retirement
2. Adoption Fund
3. College savings

The first thought, retirement, is something that Wes and I constantly remind each other. If we don't get into the habit of putting money aside right now, we know time will pass by us quickly and we will be knocking on 50s door without any money saved for retirement. We don't want the excuse of "life got in the way". After all, when our children grow up to be adults with families, who is going to pay for my nursing home (and I want a nice one, too).

When we first started saving for the adoption, all of our extra income went to our adoption fund. We went a WHOLE year without putting any money in our retirement fund. Big mistake. We were so focused on our short term goal of adopting, that we forgot about our long term goal, retirement. And retirement is going to cost a whole lot more than one adoption.

It wasn't easy to figure out how to save for retirement and adopt debt free. Unfortunately, we are not millionaires. We want all of our saved money to go to our adoption. It's a tough call to make, or so I thought. Looking back I realized how much we missed out on our retirement by not setting some savings aside for a whole year. That is a lot of compounded interest that we needed to take advantage of. That is a whole year of saving for retirement that we can never get back.

Do I beat myself up for it? No, of course not. Do I regret it? Yes. No. Maybe. I don't know. I can't really say because in the end I got a daughter who is very special to me and that you can not compare to anything.

But what I can say is for our next adoption, we will be putting some savings aside for retirement while we save up for our next adoption. Yea, it will be hard because we like to live in "the now" and not think about "the later". And it might take a little longer to adopt debt free. Ask me in 30 years if it was worth it to put money aside for retirement in my 20s.

If you are thinking about adopting, take a look at your financial situation. Are you putting money aside each month for retirement? How much money do you need to save right now to be able to retire? Dave Ramsey has a great tool on his website that can help you figure out how much you need to save each month for your retirement. Click here for a direct link to it.

In the mean time, while we are saving for our retirement and next adoption, we will be working with the foster care children in our city. We still very much want to take part of the children who are not able to be with their mom and dads. Just because we don't have the money right now doesn't mean we do nothing for the fatherless. 

What are your thoughts on retirement? Are you saving now? Or are you waiting till later?

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