Retirement is a time when you’re supposed to let your hair down and enjoy all that life has to offer. But financial worries can get in the way. If you’re on a fixed income or haven’t planned well for your out-of-work years, you’ll need to get creative with your spending and your habits to ensure that you have balance. Here are some tips to help you achieve your goals and have fun while staying financially fit during retirement.
Know Your Numbers
Before you can make any kind of plan, you’ll need to know how you stack up financially. Take a look at your assets, including Social Security and retirement benefits and savings. Then, create a household budget based on how much you currently pay for your mortgage, utilities, and other expenses. Don’t forget about food, gas, and everything else you need to get by from month to month. Once you have your budget planned, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to work with, which can help you make better decisions about your lifestyle moving forward.
If you’re coming up short once you crunch the numbers, don’t despair. There are many ways you can readjust your incoming and outgoing expenses so that you have more left over to devote to your passion pursuits.
One way to free up cash is to refinance your mortgage while rates are low. There are a variety of refinancing options available, but if you are a veteran, a VA IRRL (an interest rate reduction loan) can be a cost-effective way to help lower your monthly payment, even if you choose not to extend your current loan schedule.
Downsizing is another option that can give you an opportunity to live a big life during your retirement years. If you are currently living in a four-bedroom home, for example, switching to a house half the size can reduce your utility and upkeep expenses. A smaller space can also make aging in place easier, and means less to navigate if the time ever comes for you to have a caregiver.
When your money situation is under control, it’s time to explore your world. Fortunately, even if your budget remains bare-bones, there are plenty of things to do in retirement that won’t require you to get a part-time job. A few things to consider are:
- Learn to play golf. Many golf courses offer daytime rates that are perfect for seniors. Look for used clubs so that you aren’t spending $1,000 or more on equipment.
- Rent an RV. RV travel lets you see all of the back roads without having to spend money for a place to sleep each night.
- Learn something new. Chances are, you’ve yet to discover the meaning of life. And while taking a class won’t reveal all of the world’s secrets, there are plenty of free options to stimulate your mind on those days you don’t feel like leaving the house.
- Host a recurrent event. Get together with your friends and plan a rotating carousel of events at each other’s homes. Host a card game, plan a pool party, or schedule daytime hikes. These and other activities keep your social life going, which will go a long way toward helping you enjoy retirement regardless of your budget.
A Final Plan
When it comes to your long-term financial plans and what you plan to leave behind, a measure of protection is worth considering. If you intend to bequeath money to loved ones, you can protect these assets by investing in burial insurance. A final expense policy will allow your loved ones to pay off debts and handle your end-of-life arrangements without the worry of interfering with their inheritance. Plus, coverage for these policies typically come with very reasonable rates, especially if you’re healthy and younger when you sign up.
As you get older, it’s time to enjoy all that life has to offer. To do that, take a close look at your budget and juggle where necessary. Once you have your finances in place, the possibilities are endless, and you don’t have to eat into your nest egg to experience the best of your best years.
If you have any questions about how you can have fun while staying financially fit, contact us today at Caregogi!