David Bach: It's never too late to save for retirement!

June 22, 2011 at 2:26 PM ET


TODAY Money expert David Bach, author of the book "Debt Free for Life," joined us for a live Web chat Wednesday morning after the show's Money 911 segment.

Here are two of his answers to questions from the live chat. See below for the full Q&A and video of the Money 911 segment.

Jessica's question:

Hi David! My husband and I are both in our early 40's and have no real savings or retirement money set aside. Is it too late? What type of accounts should we have besides our employer's 401(k) plans? 

David's answer:

Of course it’s not too late! I wrote a book called Start Late Finish Rich, because this is the number one question I get every single day. It's only too late if you don't get started. 

The first thing you need to do is pay yourself the first 15 percent of your gross income into your 401(k) plans. This will help you catch up.

You also need to start building an emergency account, and then focus on saving for a home. Sounds like a lot but you can do this, and you can get started today.

Michelle's question:

Good Morning! I am a teacher who currently does not have a summer job. I have about $18,000 in credit card debt. Any suggestions on how to get my debt down? The interest is killing me. 

David's answer:

Michelle, my best advice is to work this summer -- go find that summer job. I know they are hard to find, but there has to be something out there you can do (even if it's babysitting). Your best bet to pay down debt is to earn more money and then use it to pay down your debt. 

I would try also and see if you can transfer high interest rate credit card debt to a lower interest rate card. Go to a website like CreditCard.com or Credit.com and review other offers, but read the fine print on transfer fees. You can also try and renegotiate with your current credit cards.

I cover all of this in detail in Debt Free For Life, which you can get details on at FinishRich.com. Good luck!

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