The Millionaire Grandma: 7 Limiting Beliefs that Hold Us Back Financially After 60
What does it take to be a millionaire grandma? If you said, “having a million dollars in the bank,” you’re only half right. In fact, many women who reach this financial milestone won’t be able to live the lifestyle that most of us associate with being a millionaire… but, that’s a topic for another article!
The more I talk with the women in our community, the more I understand that there are 7 limiting beliefs that stop us from reaching our financial potential after 60.
Whether you have a million dollars in the bank or you are starting retirement with nothing more than a monthly Social Security check, addressing these limiting beliefs will help you to build the life that you deserve.
“It’s Too Late to Start Saving”
One of the dangers of having an official “retirement age” is that it creates an artificial line between our productive years and our retirement years. Financial institutions and the media amplify the problem by making us feel like the task of saving for retirement is a race.
For our entire lives, we are taught that we should “save for retirement” and then “live off of our retirement savings.” As a result, the concept of making money in retirement feels paradoxical.
In reality, there are plenty of things that we can do to make extra money in retirement. If you are looking for ideas, this article has 60 ways to boost your income after 60. As I wrote in another article, finding a way to make even $500 a month is like adding $100,000 or more to your retirement savings.
The bottom line? It’s never too late to start saving.
“Are You Kidding? I’m Done Working!”
When I raise the topic of making money in retirement, many women simply tell me that they’re done working. After decades in the workforce, they just don’t want to have a full-time job.
Trust me, after 4 decades in the corporate world, I can totally relate to this! You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to the office! That said, there’s a big gap between not working at all and working full-time.
In fact, since starting Sixty and Me, I have noticed that the happiest women in our community are the ones that have continued to work, at least part-time. Either they have started their own small business or they have taken a part-time job. Many of these women have been able to find positions that align with their passions. This means that their work doesn’t feel like work at all!
“I’m Too Old to Start a Business”
Did you know that 20% of all entrepreneurs are over 50? It’s true! In fact, I would argue that older entrepreneurs have advantages that their younger counterparts could only dream off.
As women in our 60s, we have the experience, skills and connections to build successful businesses. This doesn’t mean that we need to set out to create the next Facebook or Instagram. I know women that can’t make enough artisan soap – it just flies off the shelves. Other women are starting blogs, painting, house-sitting, baby sitting, writing books, creating products, teaching and gardening.
What are you passionate about? Chances are you can make a little extra money if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone!
“I Need to Leave a Legacy”
On some level, most of us hope that we can leave money for our kids and grandkids when we pass away. Unfortunately, lacking the resources to do this comfortably, we often turn to financially questionable strategies.
For example, I personally know several single older women who continue to pay hundreds of dollars a month for life-insurance, even though their kids are independent. I also know people in their 70s and 80s who keep their costs low so that they don’t eat into their family’s inheritance.
If this sounds like you, you may want to have an honest conversation with your family about your situation. I would be willing to bet that they would prefer to see you happier, even if it means getting a smaller inheritance.
“Money Just Isn’t Important”
If you have arrived at retirement age without a strong financial base, it’s natural to justify your situation with sayings like “money’s not that important.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only is money extremely important in the final chapter in our lives, we actually have more control over our financial future than we expect.
One of the first steps to becoming financially secure in retirement is to change our perception of money. It is not evil. It is not irrelevant. Simply put, money is a tool that will help us to get the most from the best years of our lives.
“My Husband Takes Care of Our Money”
No one likes to think about losing their husband. If you have been married for decades, it’s natural to imagine that you and your partner will be together forever. Unfortunately, as our Sixty and Me contributor, Kathleen M. Rehl, pointed out in her recent article, as older women, the odds are not in our favor.
If you haven’t had a conversation with your husband about money and mortality recently, here’s what she recommends:
“If you’re married, one of you will certainly die someday, leaving the other behind. Having these conversations is a way to really express care for your partner. You might start by saying ‘Honey, because I love you so much, I want us to talk about some important money issues together.’ Then pick an evening that’s quiet and share a glass of wine or another favorite beverage together as you talk about one money topic. Then in a week or so, move on to another topic. It’s a better method than simply falling back on magical thinking, which ultimately fails.”
“My Money Doesn’t Have to Last that Long”
By now, I hope that most women my age have got the message that life is long… even after retirement! Many of us lost our parents when they were in their 70s. As a result, we assume that we probably have about the same amount of time to live as they did.
Here’s the good (and bad!) news. If you are a 65-year-old woman today, you can expect to live another 20.5 years. That’s two decades of having to pay for your day-to-day expenses, plus any unexpected medical costs that come your way.
I don’t say any of this to scare you. I’m simply pointing out that it is unrealistic to think that most of us will be able to live comfortably on our retirement savings for two decades. As a result, finding ways to save more and spend less in retirement is essential.
As women over 60, we have a serious choice to make. We can continue to see retirement as a time to relax and live off of our savings. Or, we can challenge our limiting beliefs and build the financial future that we deserve. Which path will you take?
Do you struggle with any of the limiting beliefs mentioned in this article? Do you think that it is possible to make a little extra money in retirement? Why or why not? Please join the conversation.