Getting older is a large transition physically, emotionally, and financially. As your needs change, so do your financial circumstances as you retire and pursue other opportunities. With over 15 million older adults aged 65+ being economically insecure, educating yourself on effective financial wellness practices is vital for living your golden years successfully. In fact, experiencing financial stress as you age can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. According to Verywell Mind, it can lead to anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, stomachaches, and headaches.
While everyone’s financial situation is different, there are steps you can take to become more secure. Here are some financial wellness tips to consider as you age.
Retiring is a wonderful milestone to achieve in life. There’s a lot to look forward to, but it’s important to plan ahead to ensure you can afford the lifestyle you envision for yourself. Before you start celebrating, determine your goals during retirement and create a plan to achieve them. If you have a partner, discuss your thoughts and aspirations openly – you might have different ideas of how you’d like to spend retirement.
Whether you want to travel, maintain independence, spend more time with family, buy a second home, or retire in a different location, these activities all involve money. Once you know your goals, determine if they’re feasible with your current financial situation and do research on the requirements needed to achieve them. For instance, if you want to buy a retirement home, knowing how much mortgage you can afford can help you narrow down your options and ensure you aren’t overspending. Considering the cost and financial implications of your goals as you age can help you live within your means.
Create a Spending Plan
As you age and eventually retire, your income will decrease when you stop working. Since most seniors depend solely on their retirement savings and Social Security benefits during this time, it’s important to create an organized spending plan to live on. As you get older, reevaluate your financial situation to ensure you’re prepared for the drop in income.
Once you know how much you have in savings, create a budget to live on during retirement. Compare your monthly income to your living expenses and account for any goals you want to save up for. If you can, try to eliminate any unnecessary expenses and spending like unused subscriptions or regular dining out to save some extra cash. With your change in lifestyle, you may be able to save on car insurance rates since you won’t be driving to work, and you can also take advantage of senior discounts and deals. Having an organized budget will help you organize your spending so your savings will last you throughout retirement.
Pay Off Debt
Having debt at any point in your life can be stressful, but this can become a major burden as you get older and have less income. Whether it’s credit card debt, a car loan, mortgage, or other forms of borrowed money, these can prevent you from achieving your retirement goals or even retiring at all. To ensure your finances are healthy as you age, create a plan to pay off any outstanding debt.
Small steps like cutting back on expenses and dedicating that money toward debt repayment can be helpful, but you can also get a part-time job or sell homemade goods for some extra income. Try to tackle high-interest debt first to save money on interest payments, and work your way down. By paying more than the minimum amount and more than once a month, you can save money long-term and get your debt paid off faster. If you have several loans, you can also consolidate your debt into a single payment to secure a lower interest rate.
Protect Yourself from Scams
Seniors are common targets for financial scams. In fact, older Americans lost almost $1 billion in scams in 2020. As you get older, it’s important to protect your finances so you don’t become a victim of elder fraud. Consider these tips to secure your money:
- Put alerts on your bank accounts for suspicious activity or large withdrawals.
- Put your name and number on do not call lists.
- Do not provide your personal information such as your Social Security number, bank account information, PIN, or password to unsolicited calls or requests.
Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you think you’ve experienced a scam, report it to the proper authorities.
Consider Assisted Living
As your body and needs change when growing older, you may want additional assistance. Assisted living can help seniors age in a safe and comfortable environment. The cost of assisted living can vary, and some services may be covered by certain Medicare coverage.
Amber Court Assisted Living and HarborView Home (an Amber Court Community) offer both luxurious yet affordable accommodations that can cater to different budgets. We allow seniors to continue living in their residences if their assets are depleted, which provides them the safety and comfort of aging in place. Our mission is to preserve dignity, promote well-being, and provide quality care where each person is treated with kindness, compassion, and respect.
Contact Amber Court Assisted Living Communities today for an individualized discussion about how to manage your assisted living costs in our lovingly managed assisted living community.