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.

Empty Nest Syndrome And What To Do With Your Finances

Empty Nest Syndrome And What To Do With Your FinancesEmpty nest syndrome occurs when the parents suddenly find themselves alone in the house after their children have moved out. Similar to how a bird’s nest would become an empty shell once the young ones fly off to start their own lives. The same with people because as soon as the children start attending college, they are off on their own.

According to NCES.ed.gov, over 20 million students enrolled in higher education in 2016. This could mean that there are a lot of empty nesters out there trying to adjust to a new phase in their life. This means that their finances are also having to go through some serious changes in the process. This is on top of the emotional adjustments parents need to make when a child leave the house.

The problem is that this is not something that is on top of mind of parents when they start plotting out their financial timelines. For most, they would be focusing on the big things such as retirement planning or even a college plan for the kids. It can eve be how to save up for a downpayment on a mortgage loan or even starting a business.

An empty nest might not bother a lot of people too much because they associate the experience with that of freedom. Freedom to finally be able to use their child’s room and transform it into something else. They also start to look at their finances and get too excited. They know that there will be adjustments that would increase their cash on hand. There are money mistakes parents make with their kids but this is definitely something they are making on their own.

If you are experiencing an empty nest syndrome, here are a few of the financial changes you need to focus on. These can help you get through your situation and be able to take control of your finances.

Revamp your household budget with an empty nest

BLS.gov shares that an average household spends about $55,978 a year in expenses in 2015. Of course, an empty nest could mean that expenses would go down because it would support fewer people. There will be changes across the board from the groceries to utilities and even save up for emergencies.

As this happens, you need to re-do your budget so you can take advantage of these changes in your finances. It would be such a waste when you simply start to inflate your lifestyle and check out every item in your online cart. You need to identify where the extra money would be coming from and adjust your budget accordingly.

Be aggressive with debt payments

One of the things you can explore is to be a little more proactive with your debt payments. As you might have been managing a lot of expenses in the past, you could be used to simply sending minimum payments. However, now that you have a little more elbow room in your finances, you can start paying your debts down more aggressively.

You can start looking at making extra payments on top of the minimum amount to be able to save money on interest payment. A little more extra money and you can either make extra monthly payments or even make principal payments on some of your debt obligations. This would allow you to pay off your debts faster. You can even enroll in a debt consolidation program to help you manage your payments a lot easier.  

This strategy helps you lower down your expenses, increase your net worth, as well as save more for the future. It can be doubling up on your reserve funds or even maxing out your 401(k) annual contribution. These financial steps that are available because of an empty nest can help you prepare for retirement better.

Shift your finances

This is where this comes in because, with an empty nest, you need to re-focus your finances. When everyone was still at home, your children was your priority. Their needs came in first. From saving up for their college needs to making sure they have what they needed. With this, your finances would have revolved mainly around them.

Now that you have an empty nest, you can shift your focus back to you. As mentioned earlier, this can give you the chance to save more for retirement. You can even start to pursue and be a little more aggressive with your hobbies. Take cooking lessons or invest in photography equipment. These can even turn out to be a money making ventures for you down the road.

Consider getting back to work

There are a lot of reasons why parents would want to stay home. But one of the reasons for most parents is to have the chance in taking care of their children. Now that you have an empty nest, you have the option of going back to work. This can benefit you in a lot of ways starting with your finances.

Getting back to a corporate life can mean another set of steady income for you and your spouse. This can help you plan out that comfortable retirement you have been dreaming of. It can also help you reconnect and grow your professional network. This would be useful in case you want to pick up some extra work after retirement.

Check your insurance coverage

There are a lot of tips in buying insurance to help protect you and your family from unexpected emergencies in life. However, once your children start living their own lives and getting insurance coverages of their own, you need to adjust yours. Review your insurance policy to take advantage of your situation. Talk to your insurance company and explore the possibility of lowering down your premium because your dependents will not include your children anymore. Just be sure that your children have insurance policies of their own.

Consider a tiny home

One of the biggest changes you would have to get used to with an empty nest is the big space at home. Now that your children have moved out, do you really need three to four extra rooms in the house? You can choose to have them rented out but are you comfortable in having other people with you?

One thing you can do is to consider downsizing and getting a smaller house. As KSDK.com shared that a tiny home is a big decision, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of moving to a smaller house. It is best that you and your spouse agree on it. You can also let your children know about it so you can get their sentiment,

Here is a video to know more about living in a tiny home.

Being in an empty nest can bring a multitude of emotions. Sadness because your children are all moving out of your home. Happiness because they are starting to live their own lives. You can also feel a certain level of fear because you do not know what will happen to them. In all these, you need to understand that it is part of life. You need to move forward and that means staying on top of your financial journey in life.

4 Ways To Be Smart With Your Retirement Funds

Portrait Of A Couple Sitting On Couch Enjoying SuccessMaking sure that your retirement funds will be able to cover all your needs when you retire from work is a tough job. There are ways to reach your retirement goals but you need to make sure that you pattern your choices with your lifestyle. If the only way to max out your 401(k) contribution for the year is to miss out on credit card debt then that would not be such a wise choice.

Planning for retirement is not something you just think about as you wake up one day well into your 40s or 50s and you decide that you will start to save. This is something that you need to start planning on early in your life. In fact, a lot of people needs to understand that this is something that they have to think about as soon as they start earning their own money.

The problem with the young earners who are just starting out in life is that they feel that retirement is still a far off reality and they can play for a few years with their own money. They start buying expensive things that they really do not need and find out later on that they have to sell things that they need just to make ends meet.

It is ideal to start preparing for your retirement as soon as possible but if you were not able to do that, it does not mean that you abandon that idea altogether. You can still start at any point in your life because it is better to have something to use in retirement than none at all. But as you near retirement, do you have an idea how you can spend your money?

Statisticbrain.com explains that the average retirement age for most American consumers is at 63 years old. The closer you get to this age, the more you think about retirement and wishing that you can do it earlier. But with whatever amount you have saved up for retirement, are you afraid that you might commit mistakes and waste all of it away?

How to be wise with retirement money

Here are a few things to consider when you want to make sure that you will make the most of your retirement money. In fact, these tips can help you stretch that money to cover your needs for a longer period of time.

  • Relocate or retire to another country. CNN.com explains that there are quite a good number of countries whose cost of living is much lower than that of the U.S. There are a retirees who prefer to retire in another country and make the most of every dollar they saved. This is because the food and other basic human need is much cheaper in some countries compared in the US. This helps them get a place for a lower cost and even pay for lower utilities like power and water for a lower price. But retiring in another country might not be for everyone. Here is a video to help you decide whether retiring abroad is ideal for you:

  • Downsize and sell your big house. One of the recent trends that has retirees all excited is the tiny home movement. There are a growing number of retirees who are giving up their big homes and deciding to take up residence in a smaller house for economic reasons. One is that as an empty nester, maintaining a big house is an expensive task. With all the children having families of their own, they would have a hard time cleaning and keeping the place in tip top shape. What some retirees do to to add more to their retirement funds is that they sell their big house and move to smaller home. The idea is that they sell big and buy small leaving them with a considerable amount of money to put in their retirement fund. This is one of the appeals of a smaller house apart from the fact that they will not have to clean a big house.
  • Look for a part time. Leaving a job can force people to look for part time job if they can’t find full time positions at the moment. But for retirees who has left their job but wants to increase their fund even more and have the security of income coming in also looks for past time work and it suits older consumers perfectly. It is not as stressful and demanding as their full time jobs in the past and they can choose what they do. Although it only brings a fraction of what they used to earn, the idea is to augment and not to stress out with a full time work.
  • Pursue your passion. When looking for a part time work, it is best to enjoy what you are doing to lessen the stress level. In fact, some people who loves their job does not consider it a job because they love what they are doing. This can work for you in retirement because if you follow your passion and look for ways to legally earn off of them, you lessen your stress level and get to enjoy what you do. This makes the part time job a little easier to accomplish whether it is photography or being a consultant or even a wood worker.

What to expect when you retire

There are quite a good number of old consumers who are afraid of retirement because mostly they do not know what to expect. But USNews.com explains tat there can be political agendas behind this fear and some people takes advantage of the situation. To help you manage expectations, here are some of the things you can expect in retirement.

  • You will have a lot more time in the day. This will make your days seem longer. Remember those times when you were are work and the day never seemed to end and you are already drowning with paperworks and stress? One of the main difference is that you days can still be long one but without the stress that comes from your job.
  • Relatives and other family members might ask for money. Expect that there will be family members who will come up and ask you for money for various reasons. There are some who will ask for money to get them by while some younger ones might ask for money for college or ask that you co-sign a private student loan or a Direct PLUS student loan. Some will approach you only because they think you have money to spare and they want to get their hands on some. Anticipate these requests and be ready with how you would help your relatives out. It can be that instead of money, you can offer them a place to stay for a while until they get their finances in order. You need to understand that they can still earn money whereas you are already retired and living off on a fund and it is tricky to prioritize student loans over your 401(k).
  • You might not understand technology at that time. If you are already having a hard time understanding how to manage and maximize online banking in your smartphone then you might have a more challenging time with technology when you get older. But you do not have to worry because you can still go about your day without much help from technology. You can go to the bank or ATM to take out money and buy the things that you need. It is just that simple and what technology does is offer alternative steps to achieve just that.

You retirement fund will serve as your financial lifeline when you are at an age where you can and do not want to work anymore. Retirement is inevitable and you do not have to be scared of it. You just need to prepare for it and enjoy it as a reward for all those years of hard work.