Retirement represents a new phase of life for those entering their twilight years. It can become different things to different people. But for most it is the start of a more relaxing time!
Now, maybe for the first time since your teens, you can decide exactly what you want to do each day when you wake up. No bosses, no clocks to punch, no major stresses. What a wonderful feeling it can — and should — be for every senior. Unfortunately, there are financial realities at play as well. This can complicate matters greatly. But with the right moves, a good outlook, and proper preparation, you can make sure you are ready for retirement. The following three tips will help ensure you’re on the best possible path.
1. Embrace Your New Lifestyle
Hopefully, you have planned well over the course of your life and set aside a sizable nest egg. Along with Social Security and any pension or other retirement fund you can now access, this is the best way to ensure that you can enjoy these days rather than stressing about making ends meet. Really, as long as you can cover your basics, you are actually ahead of the game. Many people don’t even have it that good. So you should at least on some level feel fortunate for every dollar you have above and beyond the norm. Embrace your situation and try to figure out how to make it work best.
2. Live Within Your Fixed Income
After coming to terms with your new income situation, the strategy then becomes about living within your means on a fixed income. This can be humbling for some. On the other hand, others may be doing very well. But either way, you now have some level of certainty for what you will be bringing in each month. So, whether it’s big or small, you need to learn to stick to this budget. One great way to enjoy a little bit more is by maximizing all your resources. Take advantage of discounts and club memberships. Many local senior associations can help you find savings on a lot of common expenses. And many providers, from travel companies to restaurants, will be lining up to offer senior packages and specials to get your business.
3. Take Advantage of Benefits
On top of other resources, there are also credit cards. Veterans are especially well positioned to apply for a premier credit card with USAA, and others can find other top options across the marketplace. As someone living within their means now on a fixed income, you definitely don’t want to incur new debts. The key here is to use credit cards responsibly. But doing so is a great way to get a little boost. The rewards, like cashback, can add up and allow you some little luxuries that might otherwise seem out of reach. Or air miles can be a great way to fund that vacation you want to take next summer with the family. Be smart and, over time, you can turn daily purchases into real benefits.
Living Your Best Life as a Senior
A lot of things will start to change as you prepare for retirement. But your financial situation doesn’t have to suffer. Even if your income may drop a little bit, that doesn’t have to be a big setback — if you don’t let it. Most of it comes down to having the right mentality. The first step comes down to embracing your new income situation. Then you need to have some discipline and find ways to live on a fixed income — something made easier when you leverage discounts and savings. Finally, take advantage of all the resources that can earn you benefits and perks. If you just following these simple pieces of advice, you won’t have to waste your days stressing about financial concerns. That will just be in the background as you progress into the next — and perhaps best — part of life.