Tweak Your Finances To Truly Enjoy Your Golden Years
For many seniors, the golden years are often not as golden as promised. In this day and age and economy, a fixed, post-retirement income can only go so far. Add to that growing medical concerns, healthcare needs, and other assistance requirements, and it can be a real stretch, indeed.
Despite the generally grim outlook, however, there are still multitudes of seniors who are making it work and are even living their lives to the fullest. How are they doing it? With some financial tweaking, of course. And yes, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same—not only to make your life safe and comfortable post-retirement, but also a truly pleasurable one. Here are some great measures you can take to that end.
Take stock of your monthlies.
When it comes to tweaking your finances, the most logical way to start is by taking stock of your monthly expenses and tracking them. This can be done in any way you’re comfortable, such as by using a budgeting app, a spreadsheet, or even good, old-fashioned pen and paper. The idea is you have a better idea of where your income is going month to month, so you’re not only able to create a budget, but also identify areas in which you can cut down.
Interestingly, often it’s the most significant expenses that can be tweaked considerably. Take your mortgage payments, for example. You can, in fact, consider refinancing as a way to reduce your monthly payments. Fundamentally, refinancing your mortgage allows you to decrease your home’s equity, which can also free up some cash.
Now, another effective way to help you lessen your monthly expenses is by downsizing. As the name suggests, downsizing means scaling down your life so you end up with fewer expenses and responsibilities. Essentially, this will entail selling your home, and then buying a smaller and often senior-friendlier one or even moving to a more comprehensive senior housing option, such as assisted living.
Of course, downsizing has its downsides, too, which, in seniors, are often emotional in nature. However, if you look beyond the nostalgia, you may find that not only does downsizing potentially alleviate much of your financial worries, it’s also the perfect opportunity to live safely and happily. This is because senior housing options like assisted living provide the right amount of care and living assistance that you might need, as well as offer wonderful occasions to socialize and partake in engaging activities.
Maximize your benefits.
You can also ensure that your post-retirement income goes the distance by taking advantage of the benefits that are due to you. As a matter of fact, you, as a senior, are more than likely eligible for various programs and benefits from the government. These include the usual Social Security benefits and Medicare or Medicaid, but could also cover programs for veterans, low-income individuals, and more.
Needless to say, it’s very important to do your due diligence and learn what your eligibility is like for certain benefits, as well as whether or not you qualify for this program or other. This additional funding can, in fact, help cover some of your healthcare and even living expenses and, in turn, alleviate much of your financial worries.
Suffice to say, living on a fixed income after retirement when you’ve been used to a steadier flow of funds throughout most of your working life is daunting, indeed. However, this isn’t to say that you should resign yourself to financial hardship in your twilight years because, really, nothing can be further from the truth. Ultimately, all it takes is that you adapt and make certain key changes in your lifestyle, as well as leverage resources available to you as a senior. You may even find that certain changes suit you better. That’s definitely something to look forward to.
Karen Weeks is a senior lifestyle blogger who believes nothing is off-limits to seniors. She created Elderwellness.net - a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies and spirits well.