More people are retiring with less money than they require to live comfortably. Much, much less. According to Northwestern Mutual, one-quarter of all Americans have no retirement savings. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), approximately 29 percent of households aged 55 and older do not have retirement savings or a pension.
These figures may appear startling and even intimidating, but it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to start saving, even after retirement. Here are a few things you should be aware of when it comes to saving money after retirement.
What You Should Know About Retiring
Retirement is becoming more popular. According to a 2018 report by Yahoo! Finance, nearly 10,000 people turn 65 every day. Within the next ten years, the figure will rise to nearly 12,000 people per day.
On average, Americans are living for more than two decades after the traditional retirement age of 65. According to the Miami Herald, the average 65-year-old American man will live to be nearly 86, while the average 65-year-old American woman will live to be nearly 88.
Almost half of all Americans are unsure how much money they will need for retirement. According to the 19th Annual Transamerican Retirement Survey, released in 2019, 46 percent of Americans are unsure how much money they need.
With rising life expectancy and financial uncertainty in the run-up to retirement, here’s how to get back on track once you’re there.
Is it too late to begin saving now? Some last-minute advice
It is never too late to begin saving money. Consider these ideas if you’ve retired and realized you haven’t saved enough.
1. Come out of retirement.
It’s possible that you won’t be able to return to your previous job. There are still job opportunities available. You could work part-time in retail or hospitality. Start selling your artwork if you’ve always been the crafty type. You can use a temp agency to find short-term work and commit to saving a portion of your earnings.
2. Delay receiving Social Security benefits
There is a strategy that will get you more Social Security if you were born in 1943 or later. If you delay taking benefits after reaching retirement age for one year, your benefits will increase by 8% until you reach the age of 70. When you postpone taking Social Security, you automatically save more money.
3. Consider getting a reverse mortgage.
If you own a home and have equity in it, you should think about getting a reverse mortgage. This type of loan is secured by the value of your home. You can receive funds in the form of a lump sum, a line of credit, or a fixed monthly payment.
Consider what you own, what you require, and what you can live without. Selling a large home and moving to a senior retirement community, selling an extra vehicle, or selling your designer clothes and handbags are all possibilities. Set aside a portion of your earnings.
5. Update your 401(k) and individual retirement account (IRA) contributions
According to Investopedia, once you reach the age of 72, you are no longer eligible to contribute to a traditional IRA. However, you can still contribute to a Roth IRA, so make sure you have one set up. If you choose not to retire and continue to work, you can contribute a portion of your salary to a 401(k).
6. Consider married couples’ Social Security options.
If you must take Social Security benefits and are married, you can still increase your savings. The best way to accomplish this is for the higher earner to postpone claiming benefits and stop paying contributions for a longer period of time. The spouse with lower earnings is eligible to receive the spousal benefit. This strategy still saves money while also providing benefits.
7. Take on the role of a roommate.
Accept your inner Golden Girl. Seek out a roommate. You’ll gain companionship, a lower cost of living, (hopefully) help with housework, and less space to maintain.
8. Reduce your spending and lifestyle.
Examine your purchases over the last few months. Determine which spending habits you can get rid of. It could be a membership that you no longer use, or it could be that you start cooking more meals at home instead of going out to eat as frequently. Keep a spending diary to keep track of your expenses. Make a list of expensive purchases and look for ways to save money.
9. Move to a lower-cost-of-living area.
Moving to a new state, city, or even country could save you tens of thousands of dollars in annual living expenses.
10. Solicit assistance from your loved ones.
You spent a long time raising your children. If you have a good relationship with them, you can communicate your financial needs to them honestly and see if they can assist you. Other family members, such as siblings, may also be able to help.
11. Explore public benefits.
The National Council on Aging has a benefits checkup website where you can look up public programs that can help you save money. Benefits such as care assistance, transportation, medical assistance, and health care may be available to you.
12. Examine your debt-reduction options.
If your debt is becoming too difficult to manage, consult with a financial advisor, credit counseling agency, or bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options. You may be eligible for debt relief options that will assist you in better adjusting to life in retirement.
How to Reduce Lifestyle Expenses in Retirement
You have a good chance of outliving the average life expectancy. Kane Tanaka, the world’s oldest living person, will turn 117 in 2020. Reduce your lifestyle costs now to ensure you have enough for the future. Make use of these methods.
13. Organize your debt
Managing your debt is a good place to start when it comes to lowering your lifestyle costs. In some cases, it may be preferable to keep debt, such as a home loan, so that you have more money to spend now. As previously stated, a reverse mortgage may be a viable option that can help you save even more money.
14. Look for bargains and discounts.
Coupons should be cut. Make use of deal websites. Make use of senior citizen discounts. The money you save accumulates over time.
15. Consider taking public transportation.
If public transportation is available to you, it offers numerous advantages. Walking to the bus stop is a good way to get some exercise. When you don’t drive a car, you reduce your environmental impact. It’s also a fun way to get out and about in the community while seeing some new sights. Because you don’t have to worry about traffic when you use public transportation, such as a subway or light rail, you’ll always know how long it will take you to get somewhere. This can also help to reduce stress in your life.
16. Vacation for a lower cost
It is not necessary to spend a lot of money to visit new places while away from home. Look for places to visit that are within driving distance of your town. Just an hour away, you might be able to experience a completely different climate and change of scenery. Additionally, look into options such as home-sharing services to save money on hotel rooms when traveling. Plan your vacation during the off-season to save more money.
17. Think about government and non-profit assistance.
There is no shame in seeking financial assistance. There are a plethora of government and non-profit programs for seniors. To find out what’s available in your area, conduct an online search for senior services.
18. Maintain your health.
Prioritizing your health is one of the simplest ways to save money. Preventive care saves a lot of money. Adults aged 50 and up should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, as well as at least two strength-building sessions per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
19. Discover how to sell online.
Get rid of unwanted items by selling them online. There are numerous broad and niche online marketplaces, such as eBay and OfferUp, where you can sell your items and make some quick cash.
20. Prioritize your entertainment requirements.
Entertainment is a luxury, not a necessity. Life, on the other hand, should be enjoyable. Look for free entertainment options such as art fairs or outdoor movies. If you’re bored and looking for something to do, look into free or low-cost hobbies like yoga or reading books from the library.
How to Manage Your Money After Retirement
By consciously managing your money, you can avoid financial stress in retirement. You’ll need a nice nest egg to continue enjoying life, pay for medical expenses, and cover any unexpected expenses. Take the following steps.
21. Recognize how much you’re spending.
Examine your spending over the last three months using your bank statement. If you primarily use cash, record how much you believe you spent on purchases. Begin keeping a spending diary to get an accurate picture of your expenses.
22. Budget for the present and the future
Saving is always important, even after retirement. Set aside money for savings in your budget. Build a solid emergency fund in your savings that can cover at least three months of your expenses.
23. Pay off your debts
Use the money-saving advice in this article to pay down debt. Debt is stressful and can quickly escalate when interest accrues. Pay off accumulating debts, such as credit card debt, as soon as possible.
24. Consider some type of guaranteed income.
Speak with a financial planner about establishing guaranteed income, possibly as part of your retirement savings, using a tool such as a guaranteed annuity income. This way, you can continue to earn money even after you retire.
25. Make a tax plan.
Even if you are not working, you will owe taxes. To prepare for taxes, consult with a financial planner. Set aside money for this purpose.
26. Make wise investments.
You’ll want to make less risky investments at this point in your life than you did when you first started working. You will, however, want to invest. When compared to waiting for a savings account to grow, investing in stocks provides a much higher return on investment. You can also make catch-up contributions to IRAs and 401(k)s after the age of 50.
27. Increase the value of your credit card points.
Examine the benefits your current credit cards provide, such as travel points or cash back, and make sure you’re taking advantage of them. You might also consider applying for a new credit card with a desirable bonus offer, such as extra travel miles if you are planning a trip.
Begin Saving More Right Now
It is not too late to begin saving and making the most of what you already have. Make your retirement more comfortable by following these suggestions.