Category Archives: Finance

Don’t Spend More Than You Have to in the Run Up to Retirement

Managing retirement spending habits

Get on top of your spending habits now for stress free years ahead.

In 2015, a Life+ Money Survey found that a worrying 19.8 % of Americans felt that their biggest financial fear was being too poor to retire. This leads to approximately every 2 in 5 Americans mainly worrying about sticking to a budget or saving for retirement. For retirees worried about outliving their savings, downsizing their spending habits can mean the difference between success and failure. Some plan to downsize their homes while others simplify their lives in other ways.

To reduce your monthly expenses, first have a look at all your monthly outgoings and whether they are necessary. For help in managing your spending habits as you contemplate retirement, a good starting point is making a plan. Decide what ideal of retirement you have in mind, then take steps towards this. Here are some common areas where overspending can occur.

Household Bills

Growing in popularity is the option of downsizing. While you may be able to afford it, a larger home means you should expect household costs such as utilities to go up. Older homeowners, once their children are independent, no longer need a large family home. Considering a smaller home or a less expensive neighborhood can reduce living costs when retired. Continue reading


Retiring Early or Retiring Well?

Understanding Social Security

Getting the Full Benefits of Social Security.

Comedian George Burns once joked that retirement at 65 was ridiculous. “When I was sixty-five, I still had pimples.”

Whether you’re still fighting acne at 65, or counting down to your final days on the job, one thing is for certain – the age at which you retire greatly affects your social security benefits. Retirement brings with it many uncertainties. With the average lifespan increasing each year thanks, in part, to advances in medical technology, the retirement phase of our lives can last a lot longer that it did just 50 years ago.

Even if you have a generous retirement package from your place of employment, coupled with healthy retirement savings accrued over the years, social security is an important part of the retirement equation for seniors and boomers. For some, social security benefits are the bulk of the income that will be used during retirement. Continue reading


Serving Those who have Served Us

Honoring Veterans

Benefits for Aging Veterans.

When we are in our 30s and 40s, retirement seems like something that is light years away. But before we know it, we’re celebrating our last day at work, and looking forward to what the future holds.

According to projections released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than a fifth of boomers 65 and older have not saved enough for retirement. Because of their lack of savings, these boomers will most likely have to work well into their 70s – either at full-time or part-time jobs – to supplement their social security benefits.

Regardless of whether you are among those who have planned well for retirement, it never hurts to take advantage of the many programs and benefits available to seniors and boomers. There are a number of programs available to seniors and boomers who are experiencing financial difficulties. Whether it’s assistance paying your mortgage or utility bills, or help paying for monthly prescription medication, there are resources available. Continue reading


Go the Extra Mile to Protect Your Property

The importance of homeowner insurance

Why Seniors Need Renters or Homeowner Insurance.

As we age, we find ourselves investing in a number of things that provide an extra layer of protection: life insurance, a quality health insurance plan or supplemental insurance to Medicare coverage and even a home alarm system to protect us and our belongings.

But many seniors skip the obvious when it comes to shielding themselves against unexpected expenses – renters or homeowner insurance.

Pros and Cons of Coverage

Whether you own or rent your home, chances are, what would happen if someone was hurt on your property isn’t forefront in your mind. You may think it will never happen to you. And while it is true that not everyone will experience these kinds of unfortunate events in their lifetime, insurance is designed for the “what if” scenarios. Going without adequate coverage is not a gamble that should ever be taken. Continue reading


Aging the Right Way

A will is part of estate planning

Top Four Estate Planning Tips.

When it comes time to consider downsizing, many seniors and boomers focus on the obvious tasks at hand, including decluttering their home, making preparations necessary to place their home on the market and deciding whether to live in a retirement community or elsewhere.

But what some of them may overlook is one of the most crucial parts of the downsizing process: estate-planning. Estate planning involves officially recording one’s wishes for their end-of-life plans, which includes naming heirs and distributing their estate.

Seniors who forget this task may come to regret it later. Let’s take the example of a senior couple who sells their estate and decides to use the profits to help fund their retirement in a retirement community. One of them passes away soon after, and the inheritance ends up in the hands of a child from a previous marriage. This could cause an unnecessary hardship for the surviving spouse. Continue reading


Monthly Expenses Draining the Budget?

Learning to budget

Best Ways to Become a Money Miser.

One of the biggest challenges we all face – regardless of whether we’re seniors well into the retirement years or millennials just starting out – is the ability to stretch our budget. It can be quite difficult to maximize every dollar we spend to squeeze out a little extra each month, but with a little creativity, every budget can be squeezed just a little bit.

Let’s explore some of the most common budget-crushing expenses seniors face, and ways to help reduce spending in those categories.

Budget-Crusher #1 – Vehicle Expenses 

According to statistics provided by online resource NerdWallet, the average cost of vehicle ownership per year is $8,698. The figure includes a vehicle that is driven an estimated 15,000 miles per year, along with all associated costs (fuel, tires, maintenance and repairs, taxes, license and registration fees, insurance and interest/financing). Costs can vary depending on the vehicle and area in which is it being operated.

So what are some of the easiest ways to reduce vehicle expenses? Continue reading


Don’t Let Adult Children Derail Your Retirement

Adult children asking for money

5 Steps to Stop Enabling Financial Dependence.

The statistics are alarming: according to a Pew Research Center report, nearly 60 percent of seniors have provided financial assistance to their adult children in the last year. The same report indicates that 27 percent of seniors are the sole financial support system for an adult child.

While occasionally helping out an adult child financially who has fallen on hard times is normal and even acceptable, there is a fine line between that kind of true emergency situation and one where an adult child has become entirely dependent on their parents.

When it gets to the point that adult children have become a financial burden, it’s time for seniors to realize that if they continue to try to fix the financial problems of their adult children, they will eventually go broke themselves, possibly threatening their ability to retire.

If you are among the 27 percent of seniors who are continually supporting an adult child or children, read on for five steps to follow to help break the cycle of financial dependence. Continue reading


Top Assistance Programs for Seniors

Sign pointing to assistance programs

How and When to Seek Help.

Seniors who planned well for retirement – or who think they have planned well for retirement – may discover after retirement that their nest egg is not going to stretch as far as they had hoped. As we age, our costs tend to increase, especially where healthcare and other medical needs are concerned.

Even for those who have excellent health insurance and long-term care insurance plans, all it takes is one unexpected expense to derail your retirement plan. When that happens, there are a number of assistance programs available to seniors and boomers.

Let’s discuss some of the options available to seniors and boomers who find themselves in this situation, and the best way to overcome the feelings and beliefs that may prevent them from asking for the help they need.

Who are the Boomers?

The generation dubbed the “Baby Boomers” includes those born between 1946 and 1964. In general, boomers are believed to be a generation of optimists who believe in achievement. Boomers also lean toward adventure and exploration, and have lived through some of the greatest social changes in U.S. history. Continue reading


How to Avoid the “Senior Strain” on Finances

Senior woman counting her finances

Top 3 Expenses and How to Manage Them.

One of the scariest things about retirement can be the fear of not having enough money saved in your budget to meet your ongoing needs during the senior years. While social security provides a monthly stipend for seniors, it often is not enough to cover all of our financial obligations post retirement.

According to a March 2016 Money article, saving for retirement is not a strong point for most Americans. The Money survey polled Millennials, Generation Xers, and Boomers and discovered that fewer than 56 percent of Americans in all three age groups had saved less $10,000 toward retirement. Even worse, one-third of Americans polled said they had no retirement savings at all. Women were 27 percent more likely to have no retirement savings than men, which is bad news considering women generally have more medical expenses than men as they get older.

Financial advisors recommend saving six to nine times your annual salary in order to be better prepared for the finances needed in retirement. So what do you do if you are among the 56 percent of Americans lacking confidence in your amount of retirement savings? Read on to get tips and tools to combat the most common “senior strains.” Continue reading


Top Four Issues Affecting Seniors This Election Season

Presidential candidates

Where do the Presidential Candidates Stand?

In a month’s time, we’ll be lining up at the polls, waiting to cast our votes for the person who will lead this country for the next four years.

I think it would be a mild understatement to say that this particular election season has been a bit rough. There has been a divide among the American people that hasn’t been seen in quite some time in this country, which can cloud the entire election process.

In 2016, we have been presented with two presidential candidates who couldn’t be more opposite of one another in the way in which they’ve conducted their public campaigns and in their stances on the vital issues facing this country. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned voter discouraged. Continue reading


Budgeting for a Fixed Income

Budgeting a fixed income

Most seniors have a fixed monthly income. Money may be coming from a pension, social security, or disability, and although it may not seem like a ton, there are ways to budget and make a fixed income work to your advantage. One major plus for someone on a fixed income is that they know exactly how much money is available each month; they don’t have to worry about not getting enough hours at work or losing a job. For most seniors, money comes in on the same date each month, which is great, because there’s no surprise as to when money will be replenished. Continue reading