A Freelancer’s Guide to Saving for Retirement

How to avoid life insurance denials
Retire with Money
Elizabeth O'Brien is a senior writer at Money
Those of us with corporate jobs have a leg up when it comes to saving for retirement. Not only do we enjoy a steady paycheck, but also many of us get automatically placed into the company 401(k) plan. More than half of the biggest companies use auto-enrollment, which forces employees to opt out of participation in the 401(k), rather than opt in. Self-employed workers get no such nudge when it comes to saving for their future. And their income often fluctuates, making it harder to commit to regular contributions. Despite the challenges, it’s critical to save for retirement. Learn more about securing your future as a freelance or gig worker in today’s edition.

Best wishes,

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A Freelancer's Guide to Saving for Retirement

Don’t overlook the importance of insurance.

Insurers Sometimes Deny Life Insurance Claims

Here’s how to prevent that from happening to your family.

How to Prepare for the Next Bitcoin Crash

For starters, don’t invest what you’re not prepared to lose.

Please help me welcome our reader of the week! Bob Tillemans, 62, recently retired from his job in the food industry. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Christine, two of his three adult children, and their two canine companions, a Wheaten Terrier and a rescue mix.

What are you up to these days?
Previously I would pack all my home projects, family activities, mountain biking and surfing into the weekends or vacation. Now I do it (or could do it!) 7 days a week. I must say, I am struggling without a set agenda, and admittedly a rookie retiree. The first week of retirement, I forgot my brother’s birthday and a dentist appointment. I was so used to my admin assistant and Outlook calendar keeping me on top of everything. I have now revived my calendar for daily reminders, and am doing better on that front.

It takes a while to get your bearings in retirement. Any advice you'd like to share for others about preparing for this life stage?
At least for me, I really love working (the people, the travel, and actually the work itself). I was in sales for a food manufacturer for 40 years, and my role was eliminated, but they kept me on for another three years on various projects. I was buttoned up from a financial standpoint (pension – took lump sum — 401(k), HSA, Roth IRA etc.), but clearly not prepared for the physical and emotional changes in retirement. I would suggest a test drive of retirement, possibly a one month leave or sabbatical if available. If I had done this, I probably would have stayed another couple of years (I’m 62 now).

Excellent advice. What's your saving/investing philosophy?
I have always enjoyed investing, both individual stocks and funds/REITs. While I had been very aggressive, I have now pared it back to a 70-30 split (stocks/bonds). I attended every financial planning seminar offered over the years, as well as reading various magazines, Zoom calls, and podcasts to learn and stay up to date on all financial and tax matters. I am always learning from Financial Planners and CPA’s.
Smart. What's your spending philosophy? 
Save first, live well but below your means. I also enjoy negotiating and getting multiple bids to get the best value, service and products on big ticket items. A couple of quotes I like: “Swing the bat” and “the greatest risk in life is not taking one.”
‘Better Than the Hospital’: Pandemic Boosts Care for Serious Illnesses at Home
A growing number of hospital systems are extending care to the home. KAISER HEALTH NEWS
Retirees Intent on Leaving Homes to Kids
A recent study shows retirees who plan on leaving an inheritance were much less likely to sell their home before they died. SQUARED AWAY BLOG
Suffering From Sticker Shock?
You might want to hold off on these purchases as their post-pandemic prices soar. CNBC
When One Partner Needs to Move for Long-Term Care and the Other Doesn't
Here are tips for facilitating the transition and easing guilt. NEXT AVENUE
Elizabeth O'Brien is deputy editor at Money. She has covered retirement and health care for nearly a decade. A Brooklyn resident and mom of two boys, she navigates the alphabet soup of Medicare and the New York City subway system with equal ease. You can email her at elizabeth.obrien@money.com and follow her on Twitter at @elizobrien.

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