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Tips for Managing Your Money Post-Retirement
Money management is a lifelong skill that everyone should practice after retirement. When you stop working, maintaining a comfortable nest egg requires the same attention you gave while making a steady income. With some effort, you can stretch your savings in retirement, create alternative revenue streams, and reap the rewards you deserve after decades of hard work.
Consider these 10 tips for managing your money post-retirement.
- Make—and stick—to a budget. Don’t stop making a household budget during retirement. Continue to track your money coming in, your recurring expenses like groceries and utility bills, and how much you’ll need each month to live comfortably.
- Cut back on unnecessary expenses. Be more thoughtful about withdrawals from your checking or savings account. Are there extra expenses you no longer need? Consider cutting utility costs like cable if you don’t regularly use them or dining out less and cooking in more, for example. Other simple lifestyle changes—like quitting smoking or giving up soda, for example—can save you money while benefiting your health as you age.
- Make a financial plan with family or a trusted advisor. Especially if your retirement money involves both you and a spouse or loved one, talk with them or your financial advisor about your 401(k), pension, home equity, benefits, and other similar plans, so everyone is on the same page. If you’re unsure of your assets or spending habits, asking for help is okay.
- Wait before tapping into Social Security. Delaying your Social Security benefits can boost your retirement income. Most people tap into their Social Security at a younger age due to stock market volatility and high inflation. Still, the program is inflation-proof and adjusted regularly based on increases or decreases in the Consumer Price Index. The longer you wait to cash out, the higher your payments will be.
- Consider new forms of retirement income. Getting a part-time job or turning a beloved hobby into a side hustle can supplement or delay your retirement account withdrawals. Plus, there are many senior-friendly part-time jobs, like retail sales positions or school bus drivers—now is your chance to work in a new industry you’ve always been interested in.
- Downsize, if possible. Moving to a more affordable area or senior living residence could save you money, create a safer and more comfortable environment, and help you with things like daily housekeeping, so you have more time in retirement to do the things you really love. Saying goodbye to your home is never easy, but it could help to right size significantly after retirement—both on your bank account and your quality of life.
- Don’t forget about senior discounts. These can help you save money on online shopping, travel, dining, and more. Always ask or look out for special senior rates before making purchases.
- Account for medical expenses. How do you plan to pay for out-of-pocket health expenses once you retire? Be sure to add these to your monthly budget and get the best rates for medications and other services based on your insurance or Medicare benefits.
- Continue to pay off debt. Getting rid of monthly car payments or credit card bills, for example, can put a few extra hundred dollars back into your pocket. Reducing your debt is beneficial if an emergency arises or you need extra spending money during your golden years.
- Watch out for scams. They’re more sophisticated than ever, and elder financial fraud accounts for about $3 billion annually. In addition to these tips for saving money and managing what you have more wisely, be sure to learn the signs and how to protect yourself against financial fraud and money scams.