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Hi Footsox,

We are in our 50's and have been self employed most of our lives. Other than social security, we have no nest egg.

I was in your shoes exactly when I left my farm and began teaching. Zero savings. When I saw my friends beginning to retire in their early 50's with 30 yrs in the ret system, it hit me. I had saved nothing(put everything into business) and had not even paid into SS in a lot of my self employed years cause my income was so low. I began frantically saving everything I could.

I think OldOne offers good advice about selling your business if you can. My only real life saver was that I had my land. I began thinking how to best market it. I sold and traded for land on the gulf coast and have done well by that. I was able to retire in 2000.

Getting a job with the state and a defined retirement plan with full medical coverage has been a blessing to me. Never let teachers complain to you about their jobs.

Everyone gives good advice about the various savings plans. I don't know about SEPs but personally like Roth IRAs. I just fear the Dems may one day find a way to tax them too.
The next question is what to put into these accounts. Personally I don't use index funds simply cause I have/had so little time for them to grow so I picked some managed no load and loaded funds to begin. FKINX is an income fund that has done well for me but it's load is too high now IMO. Other equity/income funds are out there though. I also have FAIRX, TASCX,NYVTX, BRSVX, FCNTX, NBGEX, and HG rec MUHLX all with managers with proven results over a long time.

Since I don't have much time, I subscribed in 2003 to MF Hidden Gems and have learned so much about investing and valueing stocks and have made money with their picks. If I were just getting started again, I would consider MF Champion funds also.

I don't need my investments to live on. My SS and retirement give me way more than I am used to spending. Plus I have some rental income.

If you follow the advice already given, you'll do well. A little thing I do is I have a 1% rebate Credit Card and charge everything I can on it including household bills, appliances, groc and such. But--I pay it off every month, I mean I NEVER pay CC interest. And it gives me a couple hundred extra every year.

Best regards,
charlie, who wound up better off than anyone could deserve.
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