Retirement is a wonderful time in life. Now that your working days are gone, it’s time to slow down and enjoy yourself. But you have to afford these happy years, and studies show 9 out of 10 retirees have no financial plan. As we live longer, those of us who hit retirement years will statistically live into our 90s – that’s twenty years longer than our parents’ generation.
It means our money needs to last longer, approximately thirty years instead of ten to fifteen. Seniors need to rethink their financial situation and come up with a plan. It’s important to do this as a couple now that both men women have financial means that come into play.
Assume You’ll Reach Life Expectancy
Some people find the idea of living to their 90s horrifying. Yes, 90 is old, but these days, with modern medicine and better overall living, there’s a good chance you and your spouse are going to live that long. Even if it sounds crazy, make a financial plan that assumes you’ll live even longer – to 100. You really can’t tell how long you’ll be around, so the best thing to do is save up and plan. The worst thing that happens if you don’t make it and your heirs get a little gift.
Assume You’ll Get Sick
The most overlooked expenses retirees face are medical expenses. You may be living, but it won’t be a smooth ride the whole time. Everyone’s body gives out in one way or another, so think of the worst-case scenario.
Look at your insurance deductibles, ask your friends who have already had ailments if they have any financial advice. Getting ahead of a massive medical expense can ease a lot of stress, and keep your head above water when it comes to your bank account.
Make a Budget, Then Keep Making Money
Just because you don’t have to get dressed up to go to the office every day doesn’t mean you can’t still generate income. First things first, though; make a budget for what you’ll really spend. Account for things like annual vacations and manicures, indulgences you won’t want to give up. Include your health risk savings, and then take a look at what you have in savings.
Talking to a financial planner is a good start, but also think about what money you do already have coming in. Many seniors receive pension payments, and everyone gets a social security check. Stocks are volatile these days, so it’s not safe to assume you’ll make a decent income from that one source, though market investments are a good idea, but think of other sources of income. A part-time job, or renting out some real estate could be ways to generate a little extra cash.
Plan for Single Living
The sad truth is, one of you will go before the other. What does that mean for the survivor, financially? Take a look at those pension checks, and the social security – these won’t come in like they did when you were married. Pensions are set up differently for everyone, so it could be no to low income for the surviving partner. Social security checks drop from two to one per month, though the higher of the two is the one that remains. Set up a separate plan for the surviving spouse, make up several scenarios so that he or she will know what to do when the time comes.
Financial planning isn’t the most fun part of retirement, but it requires more attention now than it did during your working years. A good plan and a keen eye on a well thought out budget will keep your finances in check for all your years to come.