Single Senior Finances And How You Can Manage It Well

Single Senior Finances And How You Can Manage It WellSingle senior finances are one of the points in your life that you need to plan for because you will have a tougher hill to climb than the rest. You need to understand that one of the components that makes old life easier is when you have a family with you. If you are going through it alone then it changes the dynamics of old age retirement.

If you start comparing it to traditional retirement planning, going at it alone is a lot different. Parts of your retirement planning might seem a little easier since you are only planning for yourself. However, you need to understand that this is more challenging because you would need to do everything on your own.

Single senior finances mean that you do not have any spouse or even children to help you with old age needs. You might have some friends from work or in your neighborhood but may not be enough. Besides, they might start to focus on their own needs as they get older. When that happens, they might not be able to help you as much as they want.

This and the fact that you are alone makes it all the more important to make sure you plan for old age well. While you can, you need to put in all the work to make it possible your golden years. There is no one else to rely on but yourself so better make it count. Here are a few things you might want to look into to help you prepare better.

Manage all debt payments before hitting retirement

While you can, it is important to manage your debt obligations especially if you are nearing retirement. If you are just starting out, try and plot out your payments to make sure that you pay everything off before you retire. This is important especially when you start to look at your big-ticket debt items.

For one, you need to make sure that you pay off your mortgage loan before you hit retirement. It will put too much stress on your finances because house payments tend to be a big amount in your expenses. Take a look at other big payments such as your student loans and even car loans try to work on the same timeline. Your objective is to pay these off before heading into retirement.

Carrying these debt payments while trying to enjoy retirement will cut into your retirement funds. You can make an argument that you can just sell the house and even earn from the sale. But these types of life and financial decisions need to be planned out very carefully. You also need to time these well so you are not left homeless on the street.

Look for ways to lower your expenses in old age will help single senior finances

Making every dollar count is important in single senior finances. You need to be able to stretch your budget to cover a lot in your expenses. This might even be a good time to start looking into a frugal lifestyle. Whatever you decide on, it is best to identify areas on how you can cut down on your budget expense side.

As mentioned earlier, joining the tiny house movement in retirement is one of the ways you can bring down your expenses. You might even be able to get a hefty sum from the sale of the house. However, timing is important in these types of decision. You need to make sure that selling the house and closing your purchase on the one you want to buy net are in succession. A hitch on one of the will either make you pay for two mortgages until you dispose of your old house or become homeless when you sell the old house but fail to close on the new one.

One other idea you might want to consider is relocating to a new place where the cost of living is relatively lower than where you are now. Forbes shares that Costa Rica is one of the top retirement countries at present. This can help you get more out of your retirement money. Choosing to live in a smaller house and in a new place may look daunting because you are doing something new. Just think of it as an exciting stage in your life where you get to meet new people in a new place.

Identify areas to increase your income

Once you hit retirement, you might have this notion of just hanging out in your porch the whole day reading newspapers or books or knitting whatever you want. Though there are some retirees who feel it is for them and this is their idea of single senior finances, this should not be your default thinking. If at all, retirement should be an exciting stage in your life.

For one, it can give you the chance to pursue something that you really love. That is if you did not have the luxury of doing the same while you were still working. Not everyone lands their dream job so retirement affords the luxury of going after what you really want to do. As an added benefit, you can even earn from it.

This becomes an income-positive hobby that benefits you in two ways. You get to spend time doing what you love doing. In this case, you will not feel like you are working at all. The money you earn can be used to add to your retirement fund. This can give you more elbow room to pursue other activities such as vacations or visiting family and friends.

Lower down your stress level

This is one of those objectives which are easier said than done but it does not mean it’s impossible. There are a few things to look into and try to lower down your stress level. For one, doing a hobby that you earn from can be great in reducing stress. If you love baking, then it can help you manage some stress in your life. The additional income, if you get to sell it, will even help with single senior finances.

You can also try and start putting in some exercise into your daily routine. It helps you feel food afterward. Not to mention that the stronger and healthier you are, the more it can help with your single senior finances. It lessens the need for doctor’s appointments and even hospital emergency visits. You might also lower the need for maintenance medicines.

Look for new friends

If you do decide to retire elsewhere and buy a smaller house, it is important to make new friends in your new place. For one, you will need the support system once you find it harder to move around. If your finance allows it, you can check out assisted living facilities so there will be people taking care of your every need.

Single senior finances might be daunting for single people who are about to enter into retirement. It might feel like you are going to be up against everything all by yourself. However, this is not the case because there are a lot of living arrangements you can opt to make a comfortable life in retirement. You can still have a full life in your golden years if you start preparing for it early on.

Having A Side Gig Benefits Your Whole Life

Having A Side Gig Benefits Your Whole LifeYou might have heard someone taking on a side gig to complement their take-home pay. It is becoming a new normal especially coming from the recent Great Recession. A lot of people are now trying to look for ways to increase their income. It helps them budget better, pay for their expenses, and more importantly, prepare for unforeseen incidents.

This is because a lot of people were caught off-guard when the 2018 Great Recession hit the country. There were about 8 million jobs lost and about 1.2 million homes lost during the Recession. Many people are still trying to get back up on their feet fixing their finances. Some are already thinking ahead and strengthening their emergency fund.

In both these situations, having a side gig will be a big help in helping your finances get to a point where you will feel comfortable, or at least safe. Safe in the sense that when another unforeseen incident arises, your finances will be able to handle it. You will have that buffer you need to get it through and weather the storm.

It might surprise you to know that the gig economy consists of about 34% of the total workforce according to reports from CNN. According to the same report, it is expected to go as high as 43% in 2020. With these numbers, it is safe to say that a lot of people are gravitating towards taking on a side job. Here are a few of the actual benefits it brings you.

A side gig provides you additional income

This is one of the most obvious reasons why people want to take on extra side jobs. As mentioned earlier in the article, it helps increase their take-home pay and gives people the chance to create an elbow room in their finances. It is quite hard to try and live from paycheck to paycheck because one wrong move and you are back in debt.

If you are in debt, having an extra source of income is a welcome development. This is because the extra money you get can help you pay for your financial obligations. If you have been forced to pay just the minimum on your card, you can now pay more than that or even pay it in full. You can finally get your car fixed or even get up to date on your house payments.

If your finances are on track, the extra money you get can help you move forward faster with your goals in life. For one, you can strengthen your emergency fund to tackle unexpected situations in life. You can also put more into your retirement account. The extra money can even help you max out your 401(k) contributions and take full advantage of an employer matching program.

It allows you to pursue your passion

A side gig can also help give you the chance to pursue things that you love to do. This would be challenging or even close to impossible if you are on a shoestring budget. Rather than pursue something else, you would simply put all your efforts into meeting your payments. You would not have the time or the resources to do anything else.

If you are able to find a gig that involves your passion or hobby, then good for you. Not only will you be able to earn extra money, you get to do something you love as well. That is a win in most people’s book because that does not happen always. There are people who feel they are trapped in their line of work and stay there because of the bills they have to pay.

For some, they are not as lucky to find a sideline job that they want. Maybe it was there for convenience’s sake like dog walking or tutoring the neighbor’s kids. This is still a good way to earn money. It can even give you the ability to take on your hobbies with the little extra you make.

Retirees find purpose

Retirement is a completely different experience and people usually forget to plan for activities once they retire. Most people’s idea of retirement is not reporting for work and staying in watching tv all day. Though it really depends on you on what you wish your retirement to be, a lot of retirees feel differently especially when it comes to working.

A Gallup survey revealed that about 63% of retirees plan to work part-time after retirement. This simply means that a lot of retired people would be looking for a side gig for a number of reasons. Some would obviously do it for the money. Any source of income after retirement could be a big deal. They can use it to buy medicines, eat out, or even set it aside for the rainy day.

Then there are those who would do it to find an alternative way of spending their time. They can devote their time to pursuing a passion no matter how much they make out of it. The already have what they need to live out their retirement anyway. The money is a plus but they do it simply because they love what they are doing.

It keeps you occupied

There are times that you need a side gig to keep you preoccupied. It is possible that you may have a lot of time on your hands due to different situation in life. For one, retirees have a lot of time on their hands that is why they can pursue any sideline work. There are also students who need it and may want to put the extra time to good use.

You might also have a lot of energy even after you get home from work so looking for something to do and earning from it seems like a good choice. You can take up online work writing articles, designing artwork, or even managing projects for other people. This is all possible without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Weekends are also a great time to look for a side job you can do. If you have a particular hobby you are good enough for people to pay you for it, then you can explore that. It can be baking on weekdays and selling them at a nearby market on weekends. If you love photography, you can offer your services to family and friends for a minimal fee.

There are a lot of benefits you would get from taking on a side gig whether to augment shortage on your own income or to spend time wisely. What you need to keep in mind is that you can do this at any point in your life. As a student, you can take on side jobs to help you pay for school. Cost of attendance is one of the biggest problems of students nowadays. When you are already working, you can take on an extra job to make use of time and energy you both have. Retirement can also be a good stage in your life to consider doing some part-time work. The bottomline is that you can take up extra jobs to help you reach not only your financial targets but your life goals in general.

Smart Spending Tips For Smart Spenders

Smart Spending Tips For Smart SpendersIt is a good idea to look into smart spending tips to help you manage your finances. In today’s day and age, you might need just about all the help you can get. This is because a lot of consumers and households are struggling to manage their finances. A lot of people are also having a tough time handling debt as well.

According to The Motley Fool, the average household debt is over $137,000. That includes a lot of items from mortgage loans to car loans and even credit card debt. One thing you need to remember is that debt is not necessarily a bad thing. It is how you use it that makes all the difference. That is why you need to be smart with the way you spend your money.

Of course, that is easier said than done. For one, credit cards have made it a lot easier to purchase items even those that are out of your reach. You end up buying things you don’t really need and can’t afford. There are also times where you purchase items that have no real value for you except for immediate gratification.

However, this does not mean that you cannot spend money outside your basic needs. You just need to look into smart spending tips to help you guard your finances against impulsive purchases. There always has to be an end goal to your purchases more than just liking those pair of shoes. If this is what you are looking for, take a look at some of these tips.

Buy things that will help you earn more

This is a sound piece of financial advice when you are contemplating on a purchase right in front of you. While you are out and about shopping in the mall or even if you are at home on the bed browsing through online shopping sites. Before you head out to pay or to check out the item, try to think about the value it brings to your income.

If you are buying a new car, why do you need it in the first place? One of the smart spending tips is to ask yourself this question first everytime you will make a purchase. If you want the car because you want to impress people around you then that will not bring you anywhere. However, if you need it because your business requires you to be on the road a lot then a new vehicle becomes a good investment.

The same thing with personal gadgets, you can always ask yourself the same question. Why will you buy a new laptop? If you just want the same one your friends have then you are better off not buying one. But if you need it to get some side gigs done at home or to stream movies because you cut your cable already then that could be a good choice.

Will your purchase help you save time?

Forbes explained in an article how value is not inherent but rather subjective. Simply put, you have the tendency to put more value to a specific item in relation to how it can satisfy a want. If you were presented right now a bottle of clean and drinkable water and a big diamond, you would reach for the diamond. But if you think about it, you cannot live with water but you can live without the diamond.

Following that approach, you need to make sure that you have your priorities in line and that starts with valuing your time. One of the smart spending tips is to try and figure out if your purchase will help you save time so you can put it to other users. You can either use your free time to try and earn more or spend it with the people that matter to you.

If hiring cleaners will give you more time with your family when you get home then go ahead with it. You might have the chance to get started with a side gig at home if you just order your groceries online. It saves you time from having to drive up and down the grocery when you could already get started with work.

Spend on experiences

One smart tip on spending you might want to contemplate on is where you spend your money. Do you favor gadgets that will depreciate quickly or spend money to learn new things? One of the smart spending tips you can look at it using your money to create a better version of yourself. One is keeping a healthy body by joining fitness classes or going to the gym.

Feeling good can help you become more productive at work or in growing your business. You can also take classes to help you improve on areas you are struggling with or want to improve on your core strengths. The bottomline is to continuously learn and find ways to improve yourself to help you enjoy life better.

Work on your hobby

One of the smart spending tips you can consider is to try and make improvements to your hobby. For one, it gives you the chance to have an outlet in case you are having a bad day or week. It can also be a good form of relaxation for you on weekends or during long holidays. Your hobby can even help you save money when you can gift it to other people.

Another benefit of working on your hobbies is that it can be a good source of income or a valid career option in the future. It can become an income-positive hobby for you to help augment your income in your budget. It may even be a solid option as a career when you decide you want to pursue something you love doing.

As you work on your hobby, you develop a channel to de-stress after a hard day’s work. This is one of the reasons why this is considered one of the smart spending tips to look into. If you love cooking or baking, it gives you something to look forward to when you get home. It can also be a great bonding activity with your whole family. You can ask the kids to help around and you can start teaching them as well.

Hobby for retirement

When you hit retirement, you can turn to your hobby to help keep you pre-occupied in your transition to a new phase in your life. It can even bring in extra cash you can use in retirement. If you love taking photos, offer your services to venues as a part-time photographer. You can also talk to some coffee shops and restaurants if you can deliver some home-baked cookies they can sell to their customers.

There are a number of smart spending tips when you start to pay more attention to the way you manage your finances. The better you are handling your budget, the more productive you can be. You get to do more by carefully selecting where you put your money. As you do this, you achieve more in life and reach your goals faster. You may even be able to retire earlier with a secured nest egg giving you the chance to enjoy the results of all your hard work.

Take On Retirement Planning With These 5 Tips

Young married couple sitting with retirement adviserRetirement planning is not one sexy topic partly because people nowadays have a “live in the moment” mentality. The idea is that they want to enjoy what they have now which does not leave much room for future planning. This has an adverse affect on how they view and prepare for their inevitable retirement a few decades down the line.

It might be true, most especially with the younger generation that retirement is still a good 40 to 50 years into the future, it is important that they understand how important planning for retirement is. One thing that could help is the fact that sooner or later, it will happen. It is not a question of “if” but of “when” it will come. There are those that are able to retire at a young age while some are forced to work until old age.

In fact, according to Nerdwallet.com, because of the increasing student loan amount, the property market and the way millennials view investments – they are on track to a retirement age of 75 years old. There is no question that this is too old and a lot of people would prefer hanging up their corporate jersey, so to speak at an earlier age than that.

Planning for retirement can be an anxious time for some people that is why they prefer to just postpone it and put it off for another time. But as this happens and retirement planning is put off, it becomes harder to reach their specific goal. What could have been earning compound interest is lost and the chance to retire early is compromised.

Planning for retirement

If you are already serious in planning for retirement, here are a few things you might want to look into to help you plan better.

  • You can get professional help. Marketwatch.com explains that professional help with retirement planning should could cover maximizing returns on investment strategies but it should be more than this. At this point, you might already be scratching your head with this so imagine how you would feel if you dig deeper into details. This is one of the reasons why you might want to hire professional help at the onset so you can understand the process better. No one was born an expert and you need to learn the basics just like learning how to walk before running. A professional can set you off on the right track.
  • The sooner you start, the faster you finish. There are times when retirement is a matter of wanting to retire at a certain age and needing to retire at a certain point in your life. The difference is between how early you start and how consistent you are in reaching your goal. The earlier you start saving up for retirement, the earlier you can retire at an age that you want. The problem with some older consumers is that they are forced to work for a longer time because they still do not have enough for their retirement. It is always better to retire when you want and not be forced to work for a longer time than you want.
  • Keep yourself healthy. Your health is a financial investment and this could not be more evident when you hit retirement and your body starts to collect on all those years of neglect and poor health habits. You would have an easier time enjoying your retirement if you are not going in and out of the hospitals. It would be a more enjoyable cruise if you were not at the doctor’s clinic most of the time. You would also have an easier time budgeting your money for retirement if you did not have to keep buying medicines. The bottom line is that keeping yourself healthy at present is a great investment when you get older. You get to enjoy life more at old age.
  • Pay down your debt. Another thing that can help in retirement planning is managing your debt payments and making sure that you are able to pay off most, if not all of them before you hit retirement. By that time, it is ideal that your expenses would only revolve around your basic needs. Plan to pay off most of your debt accounts such as your student loans, credit card debt, auto loans and especially your mortgage loan.
  • Find something to do. One of the things that most retirees forget is that retirement does not equate to lack of activity. This is one sure fire way of losing a grip on interests and hobbies and has an adverse effect on a person. This is similar to going cold turkey for people who are smokers. It is hard to just abruptly stop and simply stay at home.

How to get in trouble with your retirement planning

One of the quickest ways to have problems with your retirement fund is not having any to speak of. According to Statisticbrain.com, about 38% of consumers do not even save any funds which they can use when they retire. Here are a few more situations which can also do a number on your retirement fund.

  • Thinking that retirement is too far in the future. This is a common problem for consumers which leads to starting too late in their career to plan for retirement. What happens is that for a fact, retirement will come around age 60s to 70s so for a young consumer, this is still decades into the future. They would feel they have a lot of time on their hands and this can give them a false sense of security. When it comes to retirement, it is better to start earlier and reach your goal at a time when you still have the energy to enjoy life.
  • Relying only on one source of fund in retirement. Your social social security is a great source of money during retirement but solely relying on this can land you in trouble. This is the proverbial eggs in one basket. It is always better to have multiple sources of funds especially when you are already retired. Diversifying your money can help ensure that you have a steady flow of cash at a time when you are no longer employed full time. This can also help you weather financial trouble at an old age. It might be a good idea to have some other investments that can give you decent returns during retirement. You might even pursue that photography hobby and earn something on the side as you do something you love.
  • Using your children as your retirement plan. This should not happen and should never be used as retirement strategy. You have a responsibility to your children in molding them up to be responsible adults so they can take care of themselves when they grow up just as you should as a grown up. They can give and share with you their success but it should never be compulsory on their end.

Retirement planning is a long process and what you need to remember is that the earlier you get started with it, the faster you can reach your goal. It also gives you enough time to get back up on your feet in case you make some wrong decisions along the way because once you make costly mistakes near retirement, you are putting your fund in jeopardy.

6 Financial Benefits Of Work At Home Parents

Woman working at homeEmployment is a tough issue when you talk about the economy and when jobs seems scarce, some people chose to work at home to be able to provide for the family. The good news is that the unemployment rate seems to be on a decline according to BLS.gov. What was once 10% unemployment rate in October of 2009 has now gone down to 5.4% as of April of 2015.

For some, they choose to leave their jobs and put up shop at home for a number of reasons. It could be that their health is has suffered from all the years of corporate work or that their family needs them at home. It can also be a decision to pursue a career that they love or even start their own business right at home.

Work at home parents usually prefers this type of job mainly for the children and be able to spend more time with them. But as enticing as it may sound, there are challenges along the way people might not expect. For some, it might not be an easy and smooth transition from a corporate 9 to 5 job to working at home.

Financial gains of working at home

If you are at a point in your life where you are trying to weigh the pros and cons between keeping your corporate job versus staying at home, here is a short list of the financial gains you can enjoy once you hang up your suit and tie and stay on your pjs.

  • You save on clothes. This is one of the things that will be clearly evident on day one of working at home. As soon as you get up in the morning and you need to start work, you do not need to put on those office clothes and you can in fact stay in your pjs while working and sipping a cup of hot coffee. As soon as all the kids are off to school, you can then take a bath and head back to work. You will find that you only need to dress up on family gatherings or when you need to head out to buy something. Other than that, you save tons on having to buy new clothes for the office because you are now staying at home.
  • Lower cost on food. Some people might argue that it will still come out the same but you need to understand how you eat when you have an office job. There is a big chance that you eat out during lunch breaks and if work seems to spill over dinner and you miss eating at home, you will find yourself ordering take outs before heading home. Add all these and you have a big food expenses at work. The USDA.gov shares that the average liberal food cost for a family of four is almost $1,300. Once you are home, you can now start cutting down on that by buying in bulk and cooking food rather than eating out. This will surely decrease your food expense.
  • Transportation cost goes down. Another cost that you will be able to save up on is your transportation cost. There are things that you need to consider before taking out an auto loan and the primary thing would be the use. There are families that are able to maintain just one car and schedule errands and car use because they do not have to drive to and from an office everyday. You will not have to gas up often and insurance will only be for one car.
  • Daycare will not be a burden. You might have been forking out a fortune for daycare when you and your partner had to go to the office everyday. You might still want to do that when you already work at home but it does not have to be everyday. it will also be difficult to get work done if you have to constantly take care of little ones so you can schedule a few days of being able to concentrate on your work. But cost will go down because it does not have to be everyday.
  • You get to enjoy time with your children. This is one of those things that you will be able to do more compared to when you were still going to the office. This might not have an immediate effect on your finances as much as it would your family relationship but better connection with your children and they might be more receptive with things that you can teach them including how to help with the family budget.
  • You can focus on your budget. Staying at home can give you more time to look at and refine your household budget. You can get a better understanding of the eating habits of the family or how they watch tv and use the internet. With these, you can tweak and improve your budget.

Here is a video showing some tips you can use when trying to put together a budget:

Tips to help you with finances when working at home

Even if you are already a work at home parent, you constantly need to make sure that your income is able sustain the needs of your family. As such, you would always look for ways to secure and even increase your income. Here are a few things you might want to consider when getting your income in order.

  • Always have a back-up plan. This may mean extra income coming from a second job or an investment that pays off every month. The idea is to have an alternative source of income in case one of them does not deliver. You will have peace of mind knowing that money will still come into your budget to help pay for the bills.
  • Continue to learn. Learning should not stop especially if you are a stay at home and working from home. If you are a graphic artist, continue looking at trends and what works for your craft to help you be better in what you do. If you are a programmer, try to continue learning and be on the lookout for advances in your industry to remain competitive and relevant.
  • Pay your taxes. The IRS.gov explains that for self-employed individuals, they would need to look at how estimated tax works. This is basically the method used when income is coming from self-employment, interests, rent and even prizes and awards. You need to pay your taxes because apart from contributing to the growth of the economy, you also do not pile up stress thinking if the government will be knocking on your door one day asking about taxes.
  • Pursue things that you love to do. When your work consists of doing the things that you love to do, you will hardly ever see it as work. If you love cooking, you can work from home filling orders for parties or you can look at a specific niche in the market such as nutrition for athletes. If you are excellent in DIY home repairs, you can advertise yourself as a handyman in the neighborhood and get paid fixing stuff.

Choosing to work at home may be intimidating for some but is has financial benefits. But do not mistake it for being around the house staying in the pool or tub the whole day. You still need to put in time and effort into your work. There will be times where you feel that you are putting in more hours at home but if you love what you do, you wouldn’t mind the time.