Making Wise Financial Decisions in Retirement
Whether you’re a senior or caring for a senior, making wise financial decisions in retirement can help ease stress in the golden years. Here are some practical tips for making wise financial decisions for those in retirement, planning for retirement, or helping a loved one through retirement.
- Learn to Budget Carefully
Fewer than half of all Americans have a sound plan for retirement, according to a recent survey, and part of the reason is because they don’t—or don’t know how to—budget.
Sit down with a financial planner or even talk with a loved one about actual expenses, any income and whether or not you need to save more to live comfortably in retirement. Some community centers and credit unions offer classes or help with financial planning for retirement. There are also online planning tools that can help.
- Talk it Out
Communication about finances is extremely important, but it can be extremely difficult, as well, especially if you’re a senior who has managed your own finances for years. But it really can help to have someone who can listen to concerns or help run the numbers a second (or third) time.
Many financial planners only take a commission if you make money on certain stocks or investments, and their help in the meantime can be invaluable. Also, have a frank discussion with your children, spouse or other loved one about your specific financial retirement needs or wishes. It might not be the most fun conversation, but it will help avoid a lot of trouble in the future.
- Beware of Scams
About 20 percent of Americans older than 65 have been the target of a financial scam. Senior citizens are considered an easier target for con artists, especially online, where seniors are “newer” to technology.
Again, have someone you can talk to about finances. If you’re about to ink a deal that sounds too good to be true, run it by your financial planner or by a loved one. They may see something you might have missed.
- Know the Rules
Too many people assume that once they turn 65, Social Security will simply “kick in” and they’ll be set for their golden years. That’s a dangerous assumption, though. There are plenty of rules and formulas that dictate when benefits are available, and how much they actually are worth. Check and follow the rules early so you know both your benefits and your rights.
- Ask Questions
No one expects you or your loved one to be a financial genius. That’s why there are literally thousands of articles, books and resources on retirement planning. So if you’re not sure about something concerning your retirement plan, just ask!
Read articles, consult family members or find a financial planner. Retirement can be tricky, even for “simple” estates. You don’t have to do it alone; in fact, getting help could mean the difference in thousands of dollars in extra savings.
No matter how you approach retirement, planning ahead can save big both financially and emotionally. You or your loved one deserves to enjoy their retirement, without financial worry.
At Generations, looking out for our residents’ well-being is our top priority. Contact us to learn more about our independent and assisted living communities.