To many of us the thought of having to depend solely on Social Security at any time during retirement is a nightmare. It takes quite a bit of planning to make sure your retirement savings will last throughout your golden years. Here are four strategies that may help you along the path firmer financial footing during retirement.
Save More Now
The first step is an obvious one, save more. Well, now that it is in print it can magically happen, right? Let’s sit down and look at this one. First off, this is money saved above and beyond your pension or retirement fund and you need to start before retirement. Where is the money supposed to come from? Many people think that saving for retirement has to be done in large chunks. If you don’t put $50 into your savings account you have wasted your effort, right? Approach saving extra cash as a nickel and dime ordeal. Even a single George Washington a week adds up. Slowly, but it will add up. Commit to putting $5 into an account every week. Once you see that saving that amount does not impact your life, raise it to $7.50. Go up another $2.50 a week until you reach the maximum amount you feel comfortable with.
4 Ways To Not Run Out Of Money While Retired
Downsize Your Budget
Plan to spend less after retirement. This can take many forms. Look at you largest asset, your home. Will the mortgage be paid off prior to retirement? If not, can you refi and shorten the length of the loan? If you have already retired, why not sell your home and look for a smaller home or rent. Renting will allow you to avoid the costs of home maintenance. If you sell, you could pay off your vehicles and credit cards plus stuff your savings accounts. Besides selling your home, there are dozens of ways to spend less. A few examples are that you are going to need new clothes less often and you can set a budget for gifts and limit who you send them to. A simple look around your home and through your checkbook can often show you ways to spend less.
Make Your Hobby a Money-Maker
It may sound preposterous, but you will probably get bored during retirement. Many of us have hobbies, but even those get old after a time. Why not find a way to make money? No reason to consider a full time job. Look at your hobbies. Is there a marketable product there? Even a part-time retail job can add a couple of thousand dollars to your income, break up the monotony, and let you stretch your savings. Most Social Security recipients can make $900 a month without affecting their monthly stipend. After age 70 there is no limit on income. Those figures are subject to change, but hold true as of 10-10-12.
Monitor Your Assets
Lastly, you will need to monitor your assets on a regular basis. The stock market is always volatile, so make sure your investments remain diversified enough to withstand those fluctuations. Depending solely on bonds may seem like a sound strategy, but the interest earned on these investments will rarely outstrip inflation over the long term. Another component to monitor is whether you are spending capital faster than can be sustained over the long term. If you are depleting your reserves, it is time to tighten the belt at home.
Retirement should not be a time of worry and penny pinching. By being frugal and and making sensible financial decisions, you can enjoy a reasonable lifestyle throughout your golden years. Additionally, please consider long term care insurance prior to retirement.

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