Getting older often presents a new set of changes and challenges in lives. You’ve most likely spent most of your adult life living near your financial means, saving for the day you might retire. Now that you’ve reached this pinnacle age, you might be asking yourself if you should make any changes to the way you handle money.
The answer boils down to how much you managed to save over your lifetime. Most seniors find themselves on a tighter budget, as they are no longer gainfully employed and rely on government assistance and what they put away for retirement.
The Most Essential Financial Planning Tips For Seniors:
1) Don’t stop saving
Saving money is always a good idea, no matter what your age is. You might be thinking that you saved your whole life, so now it’s time to enjoy the fruit of your labor. But you still need those funds to financially support you throughout the rest of your life. Remember, you’re no longer gainfully employed, so whatever you saved can be rapidly depleted if you’re not careful.
2) Pay your bills on time
If you’re on a limited budget, the worst thing you can do is rack up late fees because you didn’t pay the bill. The average person spends up to $600 per year on past due to charges. Most people on a limited budget would tell you that every penny saved matters.
3) Cut things you don’t need
This is a difficult but necessary task. If you find yourself continually falling behind and paying late fees, then you should consider letting go and selling items that you don't need. Make a list of your monthly expenses and total income from all sources. Do the math and determine how much money is left over. From there you'll know for sure whether or not it's time to reduce expenses.
4) Reevaluate your assets each year
If you have valuable assets, it's likely that you’re also paying for insurance to cover theft and damage. Sometimes the value of your assets will drop and you end up paying a lot more money to the insurance company than you need to.
5) Consider moving into a senior care facility
Do you still live in your large family home, despite the kids moving out? Maybe it’s time to move into a senior living facility so you no longer have to worry about things like repairs on your home, cutting the grass, and higher taxes/utilities. These all cost money and can be eliminated from your budget by making a change.
6) Join your local senior center
Every senior has a different vision of the perfect retirement. While some enjoy the thought of relaxing on the porch and watching the world go by, others want to continue to be a very active part of that world. Sometimes, the more active and social a senior wants to be, the more they will spend. Becoming a member of your local senior center will expose you to discounts on popular local activities and is a very affordable way to keep up your socializing.
7) We may have said this already, but it's very important! Focus on saving, not spending
During your working life, you likely concentrated on saving for your retirement. That mindset shouldn’t shift the minute you leave the working world. Now is not the time to start focusing on depleting your hard-earned money, but instead focus on maintaining your savings throughout the rest of your years.
If you treat your retirement savings with respect and manage your money carefully, you can help ensure a long and comfortable set of golden years for yourself and your spouse. Learn more about how Landmark can help you with financial planning.