Special Reports

Carolyn Elliott

Young baby boomer, Carolyn Elliott, hopes she is financially secure for the future.
Photo by Nick Lucero 7-28-08
Young baby boomer, Carolyn Elliott, hopes she is financially secure for the future. Photo by Nick Lucero 7-28-08 The Tribune

As a younger boomer, Carolyn Elliott, 45, has a little more time to save for retirement. But she’s not taking any chances.

Every week, the San Luis Obispo woman automatically puts money into her retirement account. She contributes the maximum amount to her Roth IRA each year.

“I pay myself first,’’ said Elliott, who works at a salon and owns a permanent cosmetics business.Elliott, who has about eight months worth of savings if she can no longer work, says she didn’t have the income to put money away for the first 15 years of her working life.

But she has had an aggressive approach to saving for the past decade.

“By the time I’m 55 or 60, I’ll have a good retirement compared to most people,’’ she said. “I may continue to work because I love to work. I just have to make sure all of my bases are covered. That way, I have a choice.’’

The economy, however, has given Elliott pause. While it hasn’t affected her ability to save, she is pulling back on extras and considering taking on a roommate in her two-bedroom home.

“I’m frugal,’’ she said. “Every week, I document on a 3-1/2-by-5 card everything I spend. I add it up compared to my income. If I’m spending on Starbucks coffee, for example, I see where I can curb things if I need to.’’

Although Elliott saved later than she would have liked, she feels good about her future. Her advice? “I recommend putting away as much as you can for retirement instead of buying materialistic things that will not carry you through your retirement. Spend wisely and read Suze Orman’s “Women & Money.’’ It saved my life.’’

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