Whether you’re counting down the days to retirement or still have 20 years to go, look ahead with confidence knowing that you will have the income you need to afford the lifestyle you desire. How and where do you begin? Let’s start by talking about an important money principal: budgeting.
Importance of Proper Money Management
Running out of money is a common fear. Am I putting enough away? How long will I have to work? How much will I have? These are common questions that arise around the topic of finances. Setting a budget, at whatever stage you are at in life, is the single most important thing you can do to manage, handle, and overcome the money fear.
The key to budgeting success is to set goals and priorities. These don’t have to be lofty or complicated – in fact, they shouldn’t be. Determine what budget style works best for you. Whether it’s a spreadsheet, envelope system, an on-the-go-app, or good old fashioned paper and pen, you can make any budget work. Once you’ve set your plan, put it into action.
Tips for Making Your Retirement Savings Last Longer
It’s important that you do not wait until you retire to start making your financial plans. With income sources being limited in retirement, you need to make sure it will last through your years of retirement. The earliest Social Security benefits can be received is at age 62. Benefits my also be received up to as late as age 70.
You’ve worked hard your entire life saving diligently for retirement. How can you make your money work smarter, not harder? Put yourself at ease by following these four tips.
1. Proper Planning
Money management takes discipline and commitment. If it’s important, you will make the time to track, adjust, and analyze your spending and saving habits. If you’re committed, good money management will become just as important as a trip to the gym.
2. Simplify your Investments
There are investment decisions that can influence how your money grows. Put those hard-earned dollars to work by making smart investments. Find a trusted financial advisor to help you plan for senior living and beyond. Identify your comfort level with your financial portfolio. If you prefer an aggressive approach, position your investments to match those goals. Or, switch to low-risk opportunities if you prefer to play it safe. Simplify your portfolio to a place that makes you comfortable with the allocations/assignments and return on your investments. This
will alleviate the stress of regular maintenance and management and keep you focused on enjoying retirement.
3. Minimize Spending
Creating a retirement budget before you stop working will help paint a realistic picture of what you will be able to pay for in your golden years. It’s necessary to create a budget to help avoid draining your nest egg. A big factor that will impact your retirement income is your discretionary spending. What should that budget include? Needs, wants, and wishes. Your needs (rent, food, utilities) and wants (cable, cell phone, internet) may change, so it’s important to cover all of your bases. As for your wishes (travel, leisure, hobbies), these are the fun things that you want to do when you retire! Find a balance that works best for you in all of these areas. But no matter what, make sure you have your needs covered, first and foremost.
4. Consider Downsizing
It may be easier than you think to downsize. Consider a less expensive car, or a smaller place to live. Think about the items you are spending money on for luxury versus need. Make changes to reduce or eliminate spending on the things you won’t notice if they are there or not.
Great Financial Resources That Can Help
There are many places to get help with retirement planning. Managing the income in your retirement years requires careful planning. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, there are a growing number of online calculators and resources that can help get you get started. If you prefer one-on-one help, you may want to consider working with a financial planner. Both routes can help you figure out how to work with the income you have to spend in retirement.
At Walker Methodist, we are always open to planning conversations. It’s never too early to start thinking about your options and what your future days will look like once you retire.