During retirement, you won’t have the ability to make a lot of money without re-entering the workforce, so you really need to make the money you put away last. That being said, there are plenty of ways to have fun without going broke. Look at these helpful tips to see what we mean.
Free Things to Do
There are plenty of fun things you can do for free – it just takes a little thought and some research to see what is available around your area. Here are some ideas to start you off with:
- Hiking or biking nature trails. If you’re still in good enough health, a good hike or bike ride through nature isn’t only fun, it’s also free and good for you, too.
- Fishing. You may need to apply for a fishing license, but many states offer them for free – you just need to register. Fishing is relaxing, and could even end up saving you money by providing dinner.
- Visiting with friends or family.
- Do activities at home with your spouse. This could include board games, card games, video games, dancing, watching your favorite movie, or just talking on the porch over a cup of coffee. You are never too old to do these classically fun and engaging activities.
Free or Cheap Hobbies
Upon retirement, many people pick up hobbies they’ve always loved but haven’t had the time to do in a long time. A hobby doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun. There are plenty of free or cheap hobbies to keep you entertained. A few examples include:
- Sewing. If you enjoy sewing, it isn’t expensive to begin with. You can make it even more affordable by repurposing materials – plus, recycling is great for the environment.
- Gardening. You probably already have most – if not all – the tools you need to garden. For the cost of some seeds or sprouts you can kickstart this hobby. Plus, spending time outside ensures you get enough vitamin D, and fresh air is great for you.
- Bowling. If you’re healthy enough to do so, bowling is a very cheap hobby that will also help you stay active.
- Community service. Many people find that giving back to their community makes them feel good.
Making Vacations Affordable
Retirement is the perfect time to take those vacations you haven’t yet been able to, but you don’t want to go broke doing so. Check out these simple tips to help make traveling a little more affordable. Not only will you save money now, but those savings could add up to an extra vacation down the line!
- Stay with relatives or friends when possible.
- Pack drinks and snacks for the ride, and limit eating out.
- Browse sites live Groupon and Living Social to find great deals on hotels and activities.
- Go camping instead of staying in a hotel.
- Plan a budget for your trip ahead of time, and stick to it!
Think of your 50’s as the final sprint to the finish line. Retirement is just over the horizon, and now it’s crunch time. Any money that can be put away now will help boost the savings you have accumulated over the years. These five things can help to make sure you make the most of your crunch time to ensure a smooth retirement in your 60’s.
1 – Downsize
Chances are your house has begun to empty out, especially towards your mid to late 50’s. The kids are either finishing high school, college, or starting families of their own. This may leave a lot of open space in the home you needed while raising your family. Instead of letting those extra one or two bedrooms sit around gathering dust, you can downsize to a place that better suits your current needs. This will not only save you money, but you may be able to use sale funds to deposit a solid chunk of change into your retirement account. Or, instead of selling your family home, you can look at #3 and go that route.
2 – Up Your Savings
This may sound obvious, but many people are unsure of how to increase the savings they put away every week. There are numerous ways to do this. You could cut your grocery budget by $10, or cancel your magazine subscriptions. You can decrease your weekly “spending money,” choose a cheaper phone or internet provider, or begin couponing. There are plenty of ways to find wiggle room in your budget, and even a few extra cents can add up to something substantial.
3 – Invest in Becoming a Landlord
Landlords make what is known as “residual income” every month – meaning they earn money even if they don’t do anything. This isn’t the route for everyone, but handymen can make a substantial amount of money for retirement and can continue earning after they leave their primary work. This can be accomplished by renting your family home and downsizing, or by purchasing an affordable property outright. A word of advice: place 25-50% of your rental money into a separate savings every month. This will help pay taxes on the property and your earnings, as well as afford anything that might go wrong (like the washer/dryer needing replacement).
4 – Review Financial Accounts & Budget Regularly
This is important becomes it rules out any guessing. You should check your financial accounts at least once a week to avoid any surprises. Once a month review your budget and make sure all spending is entirely necessary. Also, be sure you’re staying within your budget. If you consistently go over your budget, it won’t help you a bit.
5 – Don’t Make Big Purchases
When you reach your 50’s, do away with big purchases. No brand-new cars or bigger homes. No expensive vacations. While you should, of course, enjoy your life, your funds should be placed towards retirement now. There are many free or nearly free things you can do if you want to enjoy a night out or a day off.Continue reading
If the idea of waiting until you’re 65 to retire makes you cringe, don’t worry – you aren’t alone. Most people are just counting down the years until they can throw in the towel at their workplace. The good news is that retiring early is entirely plausible, and plenty of people have managed to pull it off. Just how early depends on how committed you are. Ready to get started? Check out these great ideas on how to stash more cash.
Tip #1 – Boost Savings, Not Spending
If you already have a budget for yourself, it’s based off your current earnings, right? I mean, most people don’t set a budget assuming they will make more money. Many people think they need to increase their spending when they get a raise or a bonus, but that isn’t the case. If you’re managing on the budget you have set, just stash your raises away in an interest-bearing savings account. Even just a fifty-cent raise accumulates to $20 a week in savings, or $1,040 a year. Scored that big promotion with a $5 hourly raise? You’re putting $10,400 away every single year towards retirement.
Tip #2 – Stop Eating Out
Working people are always on the go, and as such they are notorious for eating out. It saves a lot of time, sure, but it also costs you a lot of extra money. Instead of spending $10 a day, five days a week, on take out for your workday lunch, you could spend $20 a week on lunchmeat, cheese, bread, chips, and a fruit. That’s $30 savings a week, which adds up to $1,560 a year. Plus, it’s a much healthier alternative.
Tip #3 – Downsize
If you live within or below your means, you can save a lot of cash that will help you make it to retirement early. A lot of couples live in homes with extra rooms, and it just isn’t necessary. Instead, choose a home that just fits your needs. A single person or couple can make do with a one bedroom apartment or home. If you have two children of the same gender you only really need a two bedroom. By downsizing you have the potential to save anywhere from $200 to $600 a month, depending on just how much extra space you’re doing away with.
Tip #4 – Set A Budget, and Stick to It!
A budget should include not only your bills, but the amount of money you spend on other things – like gas, groceries, etc. It should also include separate savings for emergencies, so that when something happens you aren’t pulling out of your retirement fund to deal with it. The important thing about a budget is you must stick with it if you want it to do you any good. If you allot yourself $100 for groceries every week, and you consistently spend $150, then that budget isn’t doing you any good.Continue reading
Many people make their way towards retirement with a few very big misconceptions about what it takes to get there, or what it’s going to be like. To get the most enjoyment from your after-workforce years, however, you really need to go into it with a solid understanding of what to expect. Today we’re going to look at some of the most common retirement myths, and shed some truth on them.
Myth #1 – It’s Going to Be Easy
Retiring doesn’t just happen – it takes a lot of effort and planning. You should begin saving for retirement as soon as possible, and don’t rely on things like pensions or social security to fund it. Pensions have been predominately replaced by 401(k)s, which are a single lump sum that is primarily funded by the employee versus a set payment every week. Social security should only be looked on as supplemental income, because it will not be enough to live on.
If you begin saving at, say, 25, even a very small amount of money invested in an interest-bearing savings account can make an enormous difference. Only $10 a week for forty years, for example, would give you $20,800 to retire on by itself (not including interest earned).
Myth #2 – Every Day Is a Free Day
Although people assume retirement means every day is a free day, that isn’t exactly true. Your retirement days will quickly fill up with both things you must do, and things you enjoy. For example, you will still need to do domestic chores, run errands, go to doctor’s appointments, and mark important family days on the calendar. Upon retiring, you’ll probably set aside time to do something you enjoy. Look at gardening, for example. If you love to garden, you probably realize that’s going to take up a small chunk of time a couple days a week if you want anything to grow. Or maybe you enjoy bingo, and one night a week you do that.
Myth #3 – 65 Is the Magical Age of Retirement
This is the big one. Most people assume that at 65 you will magically retire, just the way you’re supposed to. While it’s true that your social security benefits begin at age 65, more people than ever are retiring early. Sometimes this is due to health reasons, and sometimes it is simply a goal. The ability to retire from the workforce early means you have more years to enjoy yourself. This brings us back to what was said in myth #1 about planning. If you plan properly, you may be able to retire earlier than you thought. People are doing it as soon as their late 40’s! While one person saving $10 a week for forty years equates to $20,800 in retirement savings, two people saving $20 each for twenty years is an incredible $41,600. The key is simply to stay dedicated.Continue reading
Many people work hard and save money all of their lives, only to find that they still do not have enough cash once they finally reach retirement. If you are not quite as financially well off as you would like to be, consider these practical ways to cut your retirement costs.
Downsizing your Home
A big reason you might have more month than money could be because you have more house than you need. Sure, your current home may have been fine when your children were growing up, but do you really need all that extra space now? Moving to a smaller residence could do more than just reduce your monthly rent or mortgage payment, as you could also enjoy lower:
- Utility bills
- Property taxes
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Maintenance costs
- Homeowner association dues
Eliminate a Vehicle
Aside from your home, your next biggest expense is probably your car. Do you really need the monthly expense of a car payment, insurance, gasoline, and maintenance if you are no longer working? For many seniors, the answer is “no”, especially if there is reliable public transportation available. Getting rid of a vehicle makes especially good sense if you have an underlying health condition that limits your driving ability.
Perhaps you feel as though having a car provides you with some sense of independence, and are not quite yet ready to part with yours. That’s okay-you can still save a significant amount of cash by disposing of a seldom-used boat, camper, motorcycle, or other vehicle.
Eat at Home more Often
Getting rid of a vehicle can help you save in an unexpected way by making it more difficult to eat out. You might feel as though cooking for just one or two people is not worth the time or effort, but the truth is that you can save a considerable amount of money by preparing meals at home and then freezing the leftovers. When you do decide to eat out, take advantage of “early bird” or senior citizen discounts whenever possible.
Take Advantage of Tax Savings
There are a number of tax savings available for seniors that you could be missing out on. For example, those who are still working can contribute to a Roth IRA, which allows you to make tax-free withdrawals. You could also be missing out on the medical expenses deduction if your health care expenses exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. Don’t forget about individual state laws, some of which provide reduced property taxes for those over age 65, or exempt veteran’s pensions or military retirement income from state tax deductions.
Timely Medicare Enrollment
The enrollment window for Medicare begins three months before your 65th birthday, and extends for three months afterwards. If you do not enroll during this time, you will pay a higher rate for Medicare Part B. That amount will increase by 10% for every 12-month period you go without signing up.
These are just a few ways in which retirees can slash expenses and have more cash in their pocket at the end of every month. Take advantage of them to enjoy greater financial stability and greater peace of mind.Continue reading