By Rebecca Fending
One of the largest concerns retirees have at the beginning of their retirement is “how am I going to afford everything?” Fear not, although your budget may be tighter during retirement, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself or will be living in poverty. Here are some useful tips and pointers on money handling while retired:
Be Aware of Your Finances
The best place to start when it comes to setting yourself up for financial success during retirement is keeping up with your financial health. This means regularly checking your bank account to ensure that there isn’t any funny business in terms of strange charges, forgotten subscriptions and memberships, or missed deposits. Getting in the habit of checking your bank account on the daily creates an awareness of your financial situation. It also helps you track your spending habits throughout the week (or day) so that you can recognize where your spending weak points are in terms of your overall savings plan.
A Change in Lifestyle
A great way to ensure that you’ll be financially sound during retirement is reworking your lifestyle. This means asking yourself if the way you’re currently living is going to set you up for success in the future. If while you were still working you spent money as soon as you had it, try allocating only a small amount of your social security check to immediate spending and place the rest in savings. This may sound easier said than done, but doing so will help you save for unexpected expenses, accidents, or even that vacation you’ve been dying to book.
Are you looking for a purpose now that you’re retired? A form of free and fulfilling entertainment is volunteering. Donating your time and energy to a cause that means something to you is a great way to find purpose every day while retired. Whether it’s a local or national cause, volunteering allows folks over the age of 50 to engage with their community, discover new passions, make friends in the area, and learn about relevant issues that call for activism or support.
However, lifestyle changes can be more than just reworking financial habits or volunteering. It could also mean that you decide to put your talents to use. Whether you’re an artist, writer, or tech wiz, you can find ways to share your talents and hobbies and potentially make some cash from them. If you love painting, advertise your classes in your local paper or put up flyers wherever you can throughout your community. If technology is your best friend, offer to help other people in your area. Facebook and local bulletin boards can be a great, free-of-charge means to advertise yourself in terms of classes or selling products.
Expect the Best, Plan for the Worst
Although no one wants to think about the worst that could happen, we need to consider it in order to prepare for the future. This means that during your retirement, you may need to create an emergency fund, whether it be to cover medical bills or even to fix your car. Whatever the potential unforeseen incident, be sure to leave yourself wiggle room in terms of finances.
Planning for your financial health can be worrisome, but retirement should feel like the vacation you’ve earned. Set yourself up for success when it comes to your financial planning. With finances allocated and taken care of, you’ll be able to relax while finally living on your own schedule.