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.
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
Top Tips for Re-entering the Workforce.
Dreaming about the day retirement arrives is something that every worker – regardless of whether it’s their first day on the job or their 7,300th day. So, when the big moment actually arrives, it can be overwhelming and exciting.
For some, retirement is everything they hoped it would be and more. They are able to take up a new hobby, or travel the world, or just sleep in every day past 6 a.m. if that is their desire. For others, retirement is a short-lived experience. According to the Pew Research Center, more older Americans – defined as those age 65 and older – are returning to the workforce following retirement. The largest increase in the number of seniors in the workforce occurred following the Great Recession of 2008.
While some seniors have returned to the workforce due to financial necessity, others return because they miss working. Whatever the reason, it can be challenging for seniors to re-enter the world of the working. Knowing which skills are the most marketable and which industries are more likely to hire experienced workers can help make finding a job you enjoy more likely. Continue reading
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
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
Tips for Selecting a Retirement Destination.
There are a number of things we must consider when planning for our retirement. Among the most important considerations is our debt obligations, whether we have saved enough to retire comfortably and where we intend to live out our golden years.
While many seniors and boomers downsize in retirement, they tend to focus on the design of the home or the amenities of a retirement community, rather than the location. Failing to consider the location in which you plan to spend your retirement years can end up costing you more in your retirement savings than you had anticipated spending.
Finding a senior-friendly city and state is a crucial component to retirement. Not only will it mean an easier time finding the services you need, but it also will guarantee that your retirement savings will stretch further. There are a number of cost-effective cities, including some where you can live for as little as $100 per day.
Newspapers, magazines and online resources that focus on retirees have all taken a stab at compiling lists of the best places for seniors and boomers to retire. We’ve examined many of those reports, and have compiled our list of the top places for seniors to age in grace. Continue reading
Ways to Make Life More Exciting Again.
Retirement is something for which many of us spend years dreaming about and longing. We plot and plan what we are going to do with all our free time once we leave the hustle and bustle of the 9-to-5-life behind.
Then it arrives – and we find ourselves mired in the same old routine all over again. Retirement becomes boring and predictable. Sure, there may be moments of extreme exhilaration. Maybe you have finally planned that trip to Europe; or maybe you signed up for that painting class you’ve always wanted to take.
But what happens during the moments when you’re not taking a big trip, or engaging in a new hobby? Most of us cannot afford to live in the lap of luxury for the entire length of our retirement, regardless of how well we plan. Instead of thinking about the big events, take time to think outside the box, and plan for ways to make every day new and different to maximize your retirement enjoyment. Continue reading
Tips for Choosing a Senior Living Community.
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, retirement is defined as the act of withdrawing, going away, retreating.
When it comes to the modern definition of retirement – that glorious age where we can shed the 9 to 5 work responsibilities and live our lives to the fullest – some of those words in the traditional definition may apply.
Many seniors and boomers, who have been gainfully employed their entire lives, withdraw from the workforce to spend more time with their families, hobbies and other activities. Some choose to “go away” on trips they’ve always wanted to take, but never had the time to enjoy while working and raising a family. And many retirees “retreat” to senior living communities, where they can engage socially with others their age and get assistance, as needed, as they age.
Retirement communities can be a fabulous experience for seniors and boomers. In previous blogs, we’ve explored the benefits of choosing to downsize and move into a retirement community. To recap, the benefits of choosing a retirement community are numerous: save money on living expenses; save time on household chores; opportunity for social interaction and group social activities; on-site skilled care if needed. Continue reading
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
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
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
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 Three Reasons to Rethink Becoming a Senior Learner.
When we retire, we often have all sorts of ideas about how we plan to take advantage of our newly-free schedule. Spending some quality time with our families, exploring a new hobby or even traveling to places we’ve always wanted to visit are among some of the top goals for seniors and boomers in retirement.
Another option some seniors and boomers consider is returning to college, either to earn a new degree, or to simply take a few courses for their own enrichment.
The most recent U.S. Census data indicates that there are now 40.3 million people aged 65 and older living in the U.S. As the senior population soars in this country, more colleges and universities are taking advantage of this growing segment of the population by luring them back into the classroom with plenty of incentives.
If you’ve never considered college as an option in your senior years, here are five top reasons to rethink it. Continue reading
Step up to the Plate During Retirement.
In our last blog, we discussed the issue of depression in seniors and boomers. Unfortunately, it can be common to become a bit blue during the golden years, especially for those who have worked all their lives or who may have experienced a chaotic pace of life prior to retirement. Freeing oneself from those kinds of commitments can actually backfire, making retirement a hard adjustment for some.
But there’s no reason to just sit around and watch life pass you by just because you’ve retired. Retirement is not meant to be a sentence to boredom for the rest of your life. Many people find meaning in life by volunteering their time and talents in their community and beyond. Becoming an active volunteer can be a great way to fill a void left by retirement.
At our Upside of Downsizing conferences, we emphasize the idea that by downsizing your homeownership responsibilities, you can make an enormous difference in the lives of others, while also benefitting personally in many ways through volunteering your time and talents. Continue reading
Retire to a Life on the High Seas!
In several of our previous blog posts, we have explored a variety of options for lifestyle choices once the downsizing process is complete. There are retirement communities, retirement condominiums and even the possibility of life on the road when downsizing to a Recreational Vehicle (RV).
But what about life on the high seas?
For many retirees, the option exists to live anywhere in the world. You’ve worked hard your entire life, and want to enjoy the Golden Years. We discussed how living full time in an RV is a great option for retirees who want to see the country and who do not feel the need to tie themselves down to any particular location for a long period of time. A similar adventure can be had on the water, sailing from port to port, experiencing a variety of cultures and places. Continue reading
Put Your Downsizing Dream on Wheels.
There is little doubt that downsizing from a large home to an apartment or senior living community can be a challenge, especially when it comes to reducing the amount of belongings we own in order to successfully make the move. For some people, the bigger the home, the more items they have to recycle, donate or discard as part of the process.
It can be even more challenging to downsize when the choice being made for your future living quarters is even smaller than the typical senior apartment. But for some people, the dream of selling most of what they own and moving into a recreational vehicle (RV) is part of the downsizing process.
While it’s not a traditional choice when downsizing, the most recent U.S. Census estimates place the number of U.S. residents living full-time in an RV at 1 million. A total of 8 million Americans reported owning an RV. Continue reading
Ever dreamed of traveling the world, visiting places you never had the time – or the money – to visit when you were younger? Many people enjoy retirement travel once the kids are out of the house and the rigors of a daily job are no longer an issue.
But if you own a home, there still is a stumbling block to any adventurous plans you may have for your golden years. Houses require a lot of work, especially if you plan to leave them for an extended period of time. Who will mow the grass or shovel the snow? Who will make sure the windows and doors remain secure in your absence? If a pipe bursts while you’re away, who will clean up the mess and call a plumber for repairs? There’s little doubt about it. Leaving behind a home to travel can be a huge pain. Continue reading