I Want to Retire in Five Years, But I Have $150,000 in Debt

On this episode of the Money Confidential podcast, host Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez talks with personal finance expert and author Joe Saul-Sehy about how we can prepare our finances and our lifestyles for retirement while dealing with debt.

broken piggy bank money confidential want to retire in 5 years, but in debt
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Every Monday on the Money Confidential podcast, host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez, a nationally recognized money expert, delves into your (confidential) money problems and delivers smart, practical, and completely doable solutions that will help you work toward your ultimate financial goals. This is the place to come for real talk about money—and real solutions that actually work.

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On This Episode

More than half of American workers say they're behind on their retirement savings, and 46% expect to retire with debt. Stefanie interviews Joe Saul-Sehy, personal finance expert and author, about how we can prepare our finances and our lifestyles for this retirement reality.

Meet Our Caller

"Cecilia" is a 60-year-old listener from New Jersey. She has spent her career working in the beauty industry and is hoping to retire within the next five years. However, she and her husband have over six figures of debt. Those numbers have kept her from confronting exactly how much work is left to get her and her husband where they want to be.

Anonymous Caller "Cecilia"

"It's the fear of sitting down and looking at it and then going, 'Oh my God, it's worse than I thought it was.'"

—Anonymous Caller "Cecilia"

Meet Host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez

Money confidential podcast - host, Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez
Caroline White Photography

Stefanie is a nationally recognized personal finance expert ready to talk work, worth, and money with unapologetically ambitious women. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Oprah Magazine, and Stefanie has appeared on ABC World News, CBSN, Fox & Friends, Fox Business, Bloomberg, The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, and more to share her smart, practical solutions to any money problem.

Meet Our Expert, Joe Saul-Sehy

Joe Saul-Sehy
Courtesy of Joe Saul-Sehy

Joe Saul-Sehy is the creator and co-host of the Stacking Benjamins and Money With Friends podcasts. Joe previously worked as a financial advisor for 16 years and represented American Express and Ameriprise in the media. He's been featured in Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, CNBC, and WSJ.

Advice From the Episode

Joe Saul-Sehy

You're in a much happier place when you say, "I can't do anything about the past." They talk about the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. We can't do that. Best time to plant a tree, then, is today, right? So focus on what you can control and forget about what you can't.

—Joe Saul-Sehy
  • Don't forget about savings while working to pay off debt. "Savings equals flexibility." —Joe
  • "You have to become comfortable with money conversations first and make it so it's not this chore that most of us find it to be." —Joe
  • Don't only think about the long-term and forget about the near future. "Look at the next week. How am I going to spend money the next week? Do I have any big things coming up? Do I have days of the week that I know that I'm going to go out to dinner? What's my budget going to be for that? And just talk yourself through it." —Joe

Links and Resources

Download the transcript for this episode.

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