You worked hard all those years, and now it's time to enjoy your retirement. Your retirement bucket list is calling. Whether it includes travel plans, new hobbies or other adventures, your retirement activities can come with a price tag. Balancing your retirement activities and your finances lets you enjoy your golden years while keeping financial stresses at bay.
Having financial goals is essential at all stages of life. You likely had retirement savings goals when you were still working, which helped you build your nest egg. Now it's time to shift those goals to match your retirement income and activities. Decide what you want out of retirement and how you want your money to work for you. A financial advisor can help you understand your financial situation and plan for the future to make that money stretch.
Even with goals and a budget, it's possible to overspend. Unexpected expenses can also throw off your financial plans. Monitoring your finances regularly helps you stick to your goals and spot issues if you get off track. That means checking on your investments and making adjustments as necessary, as well as looking at what you're spending to make sure it works with your budget. If you have a partner, talk about finances together to ensure you have the same vision for your money.
If you haven't already started taking retirement payments from Social Security, hold off as long as possible. The amount you receive depends on your age when you start. You're allowed to begin Social Security at age 62, but your lifelong monthly benefits will be lower than if you waited to start taking the payments. Once you start receiving payments, they remain the same for the rest of your life. Relying on other sources of income earlier in your retirement sets you up for higher payments once you start taking Social Security.
Whether you prefer a relaxing approach to retirement or want to be on the go all the time, you'll likely have expenses associated with those activities. Depending on your plans, you might not have the finances to do them all, at least not all at once. Think about the activities you want to do in your retirement so you can prioritize them. You might create a savings plan for a larger expense to make it more financially feasible.
Major decisions can affect your finances for months or years, so it's important to put thought into them. Some people make quick decisions if they're faced with a financial difficulty, such as the effects of inflation, stock market crashes or major expenses. Those decisions might seem right in the moment, but it's important to think about how they'll affect you long-term.
Taking care of the things you own can help you save money and make your nest egg last longer. Well-maintained items don't have to be replaced as often, which can cut down on larger, unexpected expenses. For example, if you still own a vehicle, routine car maintenance can help the vehicle last longer. You might be able to go several years without a car payment, have fewer repairs and enjoy more affordable insurance and vehicle registration.
Financial scams can happen to anyone. Scammers are often highly sophisticated, with offers that sound legitimate. Common scenarios include tax scams, identity theft, mail and wire fraud, charity fraud and grandparent scams, where scammers pretend to be a grandchild.
Be cautious with any offers you receive, especially unsolicited offers or contact. Communications often look like they're from legitimate companies or financial institutions, so it's not always easy to tell if the offer is suspicious. Protect your personal information and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. Keeping your electronic devices updated with antivirus software can also help.
Being a homeowner can take up a large portion of your nest egg. Mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance and upkeep costs all add up quickly. Downsizing to a smaller home or moving to a community such as Grand Villa in Grand Junction can help minimize your living costs. Assisted living offers a consistent monthly cost that you can easily budget for. You don't have to worry about home maintenance costs, and you get lots of services and amenities included. These fixed costs can help you avoid large, unexpected expenses that could force you to dip into your nest egg.
You probably didn't imagine working after retirement, but you might be surprised by the benefits of taking on part-time work. That extra income can ease the strain on your nest egg, allowing you to cover your current expenses and keep more of your retirement savings intact. Working a few hours per week also gives you a chance to socialize, and it can give you a sense of purpose that you might be missing after retirement.
The rise in remote and freelance work opportunities makes it easier than ever to find flexible work without leaving your assisted living apartment. Some companies offer benefits for part-time employees, which could help you financially in other ways, such as saving money on health care.