Keeping the Golden Years Golden

17 Jan    Retirement

Just because you retired doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still spend wisely.

So you made it! Retired, at last, all that is to be done now is to relax, work on the golf game, see the world and spend time with the grandkids. Your golden years have arrived, and you are on cruise control, right? Not quite as there is no time line for pragmatic fiscal thinking. Get lackadaisical, and you will find your golden years are built on pyrite (more popularly known as Fool’s Gold!)

Your golden years are meant for carefree walks on the beach, not wondering how to stretch your retirement savings.

Creating a retirement budget can be a challenge as prices rise and incomes remain stagnant. Many retirees face increasing household or medical costs. Some medical expenses can be unforeseen and leave families with a lack of financial stability. It’s best to be proactive and acquire habits that can help you effortlessly save while in your retired days.

In a recent column on US News & World Report, 10 tips were offered to help ease you into retirement. Here are five of our favorite tips to get you on the way to making your retirement nest egg sustainable through the fat and the lean years:

  1. Reduce or eliminate unnecessary expenses – Make sure you’re not paying for personal or family gym memberships that you no longer (or maybe) never used.
  2. Become a smart shopper – Buying in bulk with a big family is one thing, but once it is just the two of you then the 48 roll package of toilet paper may not be necessary anymore.
  3. Reduce and resell – Before packing up for the move to warmer climates, think about a yard or estate sale. What holds little or no sentimental value for you such as old books, toys, and junk décor can be eliminated for a modest amount. Additionally, popular online platforms such as Craigslist or eBay can make for an easy way to sell those items. For the more tech savvy folks, you can download LetGo right to your phone and arrange where to meet the buyers in your area. This is beneficial for heavier items you wouldn’t consider shipping.
  4. Reduce the credit burden – Consolidate your existing credit cards or consider looking into lower interest rate credit cards if you can’t. You can look up cards with additional benefits that include cash back options, and zero foreign transactions fees if you’re a frequent flyer.
  5. Go green – Swapping to a car that’s fuel efficient can save you quite a bit if you are driving large distances throughout the year. Going solar at home or making your home more energy efficient may involve an initial cost but the savings will easily pay for themselves. If going solar, avoid leases at all costs as they will cost you more in headaches while not offering the same level of savings.

Find the retirement lifestyle that’s right for you. Many people make their lives look lavish and exciting on social media and tv, but that’s only capturing one carefully selected moment. Focus on living your ideal life and the people who make a difference in it. Some expenses are essential, so focus on ways to reduce spending on products and services that don’t provide added value to your life. Best wishes with your journey on retirement!

Whether you are one year or 31 years away from retirement, it is never too late to plan for all contingencies. Shapiro Financial Planning Group is ready to help you prepare for your eventual retirement or help ease you into retirement with a financial strategy that will keep the golden years golden.

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