8 On Your Side: Saving for retirement – Part 2

Local News

One in five Nevadans has saved nothing for retirement.

8 News Now Anchor Christianne Klein is on your side with part 2 of a 3-part series on saving for retirement at any age.

In this piece, we meet a woman who is in the process of rebuilding for her future.

Ten years ago, Kristi Weidauer was on track for retirement.

“I was married. W owned a couple of houses. All of our debt was paid off. We had investments, we had life insurance, everything you think you’re supposed to have when you’re in your 30s and you’re professional and you have a family,” Weidauer said.

But within a few years, everything changed.

“Then life happened,” Weidauer said.

The housing market crashed and Kristi got divorced. She was now a single mom struggling to stay afloat. She liquidated everything investments, her life insurance and her savings.

“I filed bankruptcy and incorporated with that one of the houses we lost in foreclosure and then the other we surrendered in the bankruptcy,” she said. “Literally found myself starting completely at ground zero. Less than nothing. It was pretty frightening.”

Kristi isn’t alone. Experts say divorce can take a huge toll on your finances and retirement plan.

And while it may be impossible to plan for a relationship ending, you can start planning now for other potential financial blows.

“You want to look at whether you have enough to weather unexpected short-term emergencies — that would be a job loss or unexpected medical bills. Experts say you want to have about three months set aside for those types of situations,” said Phyllis Gurgevich, Nevada Bankers Association.

Rebuilding can take much longer. Kristi hired a money coach and says her journey has been years in the making.

“I’ve been able to pay off a lot of debt that I had accrued. I’ve built my credit back up to a point where I’m proud of it again and I have money in savings. The future for me, it’s not scary anymore.”

Kristi’s goal this year is to buy a home for her and her children and continue to save for their future.

“When I’m reaching retirement age, I want to be able to live and enjoy life and dollar-wise what that’s going to look like is I need to start doing that now,” she said.

Experts say it’s important to lay out a budget before you start saving because what may work for someone else during retirement may not work for you.

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