I read all these posts about saving for retirement and other things. Every single penny I make goes straight to expenses and I literally can't even save $20 a month. I know all about the power of compound interest and saving a little bit in your 20's and 30's is worth way way way more than saving a ton in your 50's. I simply don't have the money since I'm spending thousands per year on tuition. Once my kids are out of school, all the money that goes toward tuition can then start being saved for retirement. I know I'll be older by then so I'll need to save a lot more.
Is there anyone on here that had to this due to having a lower income? Were you able to save enough in your 40's and 50's to make up for those years you didn't save when your kids were school age? Were you able to retire with enough?
I am in my 40s now so can't really answer your question, but I also can not afford to save anything yet as I am paying over $40,000/year in tuition. I don't see my expenses going down anytime soon - they just grow as my kids do. However, since I was in my 20's I have been working for companies with 401(k) plans. I contribute 3% of my salary, the company I am now with matches an additional 2%, and it never even comes into my paycheck so I can't touch those funds. I now have over $200,000 saved for retirement, and that will keep growing as I doubt I will be able to retire for at least another 20 years. I like that I can't use those funds for future simchas etc. until I retire (hopefully at which time all my kids will IYH be married). That is one way people do it when they live paycheck to paycheck.
That's why people are encouraged to buy homes when they are relatively young. If you have a small down payment, you can even buy an investment house, use the rent to pay the mortgage, and build yourself some nice savings that way. If you own your own home, home prices have historically gone up and when you pay your mortgage you're building equity. That's the way most frum people do it. (At least the ones that I know).