If you and your spouse are approaching retirement age together, you might wonder what to do if one of you cannot retire at the same time as the other. Fortunately, financial experts typically agree that it’s best to stagger your retirement. Here are some guidelines to keep things running smoothly if one spouse can’t retire.
Think About the Benefits
Staggering your retirement is beneficial in several ways, and that’s why many financial experts advise it. For example, you and your spouse can each retire at a point in your career that works best, which allows you to get the most out of your pension or retirement package. This also allows you to adjust your finances to make room for the second retirement, whether it occurs in six months or five years.
Deciding Who Retires First
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is deciding which spouse will retire first. There are a few factors to consider.
- Income – If you’re still heavily reliant on your earned income, it may be best for the spouse who earns the most to keep working.
- Health Insurance – If both spouses are covered under one insurance plan, and if that insurance plan offers amazing coverage with a great premium, this spouse carrying the insurance may want to consider waiting.
- Retirement Benefits – If either spouse can increase his or her retirement benefits or pension payments by waiting to retire, this is a huge consideration. That extra money could make a tremendous difference in your post-retirement lifestyle.
- Health Conditions – If one spouse is dealing with a health issue that may be exacerbated by continuing to work, then that person may want to consider retiring.
- Job Security – Finally, both spouses should carefully consider their own unique job security. This way, one spouse won’t find himself or herself laid off just a couple of months after the other retires.
The challenges of retiring separately speak for themselves. For example, if your spouse retires tomorrow, but you still have at least a couple of years filled with long workdays ahead of you, jealousy may ensue. However, rather than feeling animosity toward a spouse who has retired, think of it as a chance to get the help you desperately need. Since one person is no longer working, he or she can help with household chores and errands that you may feel too tired to do yourself after a long day of work.
Use It as a Learning Experience
When one spouse doesn’t retire at the same time as the other, it’s a good opportunity to start implementing any budget changes you may have already discussed. Even though one spouse is still in the workforce, it may be possible to start living on your proposed retirement budget. Not only does this give you some practice for when you neither spouse is working, but it also helps you put more money in the bank in those last few years before retirement.
Although retiring together might seem ideal as it will allow a couple to transition into the post-working world together, it’s typically best to wait at least one year – and sometimes even longer – between retirements. This benefits you in many ways, including financially, but it may also help you mentally and physically, as well.Continue reading
When retirement arrives, working hard may be the last thing you want to think about. However, staying fit is key to maintaining your health well into your golden years. Here are five ways to stay fit after retirement and feel amazing every single day of your new life.
#1 – Walk or Ride a Bike
Before you retired, you probably drove or took a taxi when you needed to get somewhere because you were always in a hurry. Now that there’s not as much rush, consider healthier transportation choices. If it’s not too far, dress for the weather and walk there. Taking a bicycle is another option. Both will allow you to get your errands taken care of and improve your fitness at the very same time. It just takes a little time and effort to squeeze either into your routine, and half an hour a day can make a tremendous difference.
#2 – Spend Time with Family
If you have grandchildren or other small kids in your family, make some time to take them to the park. Push them on the swing, spin them on the carousel, or simply take a walk along the water. You’ll find that spending time with small children can help you work up a sweat in no time, and it’s a lot less expensive (and more fulfilling!) than a gym membership could ever be.
#3 – Take Up a Sport
Whether you enjoy golfing, volleyball, basketball, or something low-key like bowling, sports are fantastic ways to get your body moving. You don’t have to participate in high-impact sports to stay fit, either. Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and even swimming classes can improve your circulation, help you maintain your ideal weight, and even prevent heart disease or diabetes.
#4 – Gardening
Gardening is an incredibly fulfilling pastime that allows you to literally reap what you sow. Working full time didn’t allow much free time to pull weeds or prune plants, but now that you’re retired, you can turn it into a fruitful, delicious hobby. Just think about some of the fruits and vegetables that thrive where you live, get some information, and start planting. Before long, you’ll have a bountiful harvest you can share with your family, and your body will thank you for the hours of work you put in, too.
#5 – Do Your Chores
Housework is never really fun, but it’s possible to make it that way and burn a few calories while you’re at it. Put on some of your favorite music and sing along while you vacuum your house. Cleaning windows is another excellent activity that can keep you moving and allow you to enjoy some fresh air, too. Remember that you don’t have to do it all at once; a half-hour to 45 minutes of housework per day can help you stay healthy and fit.
Although any of these options is great for staying in shape after retirement, you’ll get the most benefit if you combine them and try to do them all at least a few times per week. The best part is that it won’t even feel like work. In fact, you’ll probably even enjoy yourself.Continue reading
Everything costs more these days, including gasoline, clothing, utilities, and even food. Fortunately, there are several interesting and even fun strategies you can use to help you get more out of your grocery money. Here are some tips and tricks for eating well on a budget.
Plan Meals in Advance
One of the best things you can do before you go to the grocery store is come up with a meal plan for a week or two in advance. Although shopping daily (or even every other day) may allow a little more convenience, the truth is that you’ll save more if you plan your meals appropriately. Don’t just plan for the big things, either; consider things like snacks, beverages, and household items you’ll need over the next several days. It’ll cut down on the transportation costs and reduce the urges to buy things on impulse, which can save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
Buy in Bulk
Bulk shopping certainly has its advantages, and its best if you have the room to store larger packages of the things you use regularly. For example, if you love chicken, it’s often less expensive to buy in bulk and make your own cuts than to purchase small packages of tenderloins. In fact, if you can buy whole chickens and cut them up yourself, you’ll save quite a bit. The same goes for things like frozen vegetables and even household items like paper towels or laundry detergent.
Take Advantage of Savings Potential
Grocery stores work hard to remain competitive, so you’ll find a variety of means to save money based on where you shop. For example, some stores offer price matching, which means you can go to one store and receive all the sale prices advertised by every store in your area. Other stores have digital coupons that you can clip and load to a discount card presented at the time of checkout, and some offer double or even triple coupon days. You can find manufacturer’s coupons in your local newspaper, and you can order them direct from the manufacturers online, too.
Use Discount Cards
The discount cards you can receive from local stores offer far more than just digital coupons. Depending on where you shop, you can get discounts on other things, too. For example, you might find that one store offers you a point for every dollar you spend, and when you rack up 100 points, you’ll get significant savings the next time you refuel your car. Some grocery discount cards will also give you the opportunity to enjoy members-only savings, so make sure you apply. It’s often easy to get your card online, but many stores will give you one at the checkout if you ask.
Saving money on groceries isn’t difficult. In fact, it usually just requires a bit of advanced planning and some research into the area’s current sales. With coupons in both paper and digital form, price matching, and other discounts, you can get far more for your money.
Regardless of whether you have recently started saving towards your retirement or you are about to exit the workforce, chances are that you will want your savings to last as long as possible once you stop receiving a regular income. Below are a few ways in which you can either boost your current retirement savings or get them to stretch as far as possible.
Consider Delaying Social Security for a While
For each year that you’re able to delay receiving a payment from Social Security before the age of 70you will be able to increase the amount you will receive when you do eventually apply for it. Although this benefit can be claimed from the age of 62, it is often recommended that you do your best to delay requesting it until you reach the age of 70, as this will enable you to obtain bigger payouts each month. Even delaying receiving this benefit for a year or two could see your monthly payout increase substantially. For example, if you request a payout at age 62, it will be around $18,000 per year. However, if delayed until 70, your payout could be as much as $31,000 per year.
Save Extra Funds
Are you still working and receiving decent raises each year? If so, resist the urge to spend the full amount of your raise and put it into a retirement account instead. Although you may be tempted to spend increases on vacations, new clothing or even a vehicle purchase, it’s important to remember that the longer each dollar is saved in an interest-bearing account for, the more it will benefit you once you retire.
Consider Downsizing and Saving the Difference
If you’re on the verge of retiring and need to give your nest egg a boost, it can be a good idea to consider downsizing your home. Opting for something a little smaller will not only reduce the amount of money and time you will need to spend maintaining lawns, painting your home or performing other repair work; you will be able to save a substantial amount of money on utilities and property taxes as well. Any funds that you save or accrue as a result of downsizing your living space should immediately be invested towards your retirement.
Speak with a Professional Financial Advisor
Another great way to ensure that your retirement funds will last as long as possible is to schedule a consultation with a qualified and experienced financial advisor. They will be able to take a look at your current situation and advise whether you need to start investing more or whether you are on the right track in this regard. When speaking with them, it’s essential that you be 100% honest and upfront with regards to your current spending patterns and budget, as this will enable them to provide you with the correct advice.
If you would like to obtain further information regarding how to extend the life of your retirement funds as much as possible, contact our team today.