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‘I’m panicked’ about retirement at 54

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A DISTRESSED caller to The Dave Ramsey Show has revealed her “oh crap” moment about retirement at 54.

The financial pro gave her two goals to achieve by 65 that would help her quit work for good.

A caller to The Dave Ramsey Show revealed her ‘panic’ about retirement at 54Credit: Getty

“I’m panicked about retirement so much that I’m thinking about it 24 hours day,” said Denise from Florida as she called into The Dave Ramsey Show.

Explaining her situation, the 54-year-old realtor revealed she and her husband had $94,000 in a 401k, a seven-month emergency fund, a mortgage with a balance of $127,000, and two car payments.

Their gross income was around $70,000.

“I’m just panic-stricken and I don’t know what to do,” said Denise.

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Dave was able to lay out a clear path for the caller to follow.

“Become debt free first, and that’s getting these cars paid off,” he said.

Dave advised Denise to use some of her $25,000 emergency fund to pay off the cars “today.”

Once that was done, he told her to start putting 15% of her income in a retirement account like a 401k or a Roth IRA.


“You’re gonna be fine, if you do all of that, and during that time, you’re gonna get your house paid off as well,” said Dave.

“So your goal needs to be, in 11 years time at 65, you become debt free with your emergency fund, way back, immediately right now, and you start putting 15% of your income away while you pay your house off.

“I want your house done by the time you’re 65,” he said.

However, Dave warned Denise she probably would still be working past 65.


Another caller to The Dave Ramsey Show, Steve, came asking for help because he had no retirement aged 48.

The only savings he had were $20,000 in cash in a safety deposit box and another $20,000 in a savings account.

“You can’t let money just sit in a stack of Benjamins, it goes down in value,” warned Dave, who is an advocate of investing in mutual funds.

“If the inflation rate is 9%, that means that every $10,000 that is in there is losing $900 a year.”

“I’m lost,” said Fred from Kentucky, who called into the Dave Ramsey Show with just $6,000 to his name aged 72.

And another financial pro helped a woman drowning in credit card debt with $400 interest racking up every month.

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