by Anza Goodbar
(last updated November 22, 2011)
As we grow older, we tend to stop accumulating and think about living a simpler life. Retirement is a great time to continue the trend of downsizing. Many Americans have not planned well for their retirement and will be relying solely on Social Security Income. These funds may not be able to support the lifestyle you have lived thus far.
The most essential part of retirement is taking a good hard look at expenses and planning a budget. For some there will be retirement or pension from an employer or an IRA or 401(k); however many will rely on Social Security benefits to meet their monthly income needs.
One idea to make the retirement dollars stretch is to sell your home and move into smaller quarters that require less monthly output and maintenance. It may also be necessary to consider moving in with a family member. Many couples in their retirement years relocate to a community with a lower cost of living.
If you are a widow or widower, and you do not wish to sell your home or relocate, you might consider taking in a roommate. This one only would help financial, it would also provide companionship. Having a dual income would reduce the stress of meeting monthly obligations.
Take advantage of senior discounts. Many establishments offer coupons or discounts for services for anyone over 65. This can be a great cost savings when it comes to car repairs, medications or dining out. Along the same lines, using coupons can also cut grocery costs on items you ordinarily use.
It might be necessary to supplement retirement income with a part time job. Not only would it provide additional income, it will help you to stay active and involved in the community. Many people take a hobby and turn it into an income generating opportunity so there is still freedom of scheduling.
Many retirees utilize Medicare to cut down on medical costs. Medicare can help defray costs not covered by a hospital plan and is available to individuals age 65 and older.
Prior to retirement, if possible, pay off all of your debt. This could be car payments or credit cards. Reducing monthly payments can make all of the difference in meeting the monthly budget of your retirement income.
As you can see, there are many decisions to be made as on approaches the retirement years. Planning for it early can make the transition more pleasant and doable.
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