We go through several key stages in our life, both in terms of our health and our finances too, both of which need plenty of care and attention, especially when you are in your golden years as a senior.
You will have differing needs and a radically contrasting sense of financial perspective in your later years than when you were first starting out in life as an adult, which is why you need to keep a close eye making sure your financial situation is taken care of.
Whether you are looking at a senior living option like Pegasus or need extra care to stay in your family home for as long as possible, you will need to be mindful of your financial situation to ensure that you can pay for everything you need.
Here are some pointers on how to manage your finances so that you are as ready and able as possible to enjoy your senior years.
Budgeting is Key
If you were disciplined with your household budget during your years raising a family you will already have the skills required to ensure that you make the most of every amount of money you get each month and preserve your savings as much as possible.
It is a fact of life for many seniors that your income will be lower than when you were working, but so should your expenses too.
The trick is to work out a sensible budget so that you don’t make a big hole in your savings and run the risk of depleting the money you have too quickly.
Finding The Right Balance When Helping Your Family
A classic dilemma that many seniors seem to face these days is where their grown children are having financial difficulties or need a helping hand to get them on the right path, such as buying a home.
It’s only natural to want to help your family but if you give too much of your money you could create a financial problem of your own at some point in the future.
Work out how much you can realistically afford to offer your family and stick to that limit.
Make Sure You and Your Partner Are on the Same Page When It Comes to Finances
It may well be that you have been happily married for years and talked regularly about your plans for retirement but, if not, it would be a good idea to have that conversation so that you both have realistic expectations of what senior living is going to be like, based on your financial situation.
Be Aware of the Threat of Financial Fraud
It is a horrendous scenario to contemplate but there is an alarming number of seniors who become victims of financial fraud each year and find themselves struggling to come to terms with the consequences.
Sadly, seniors tend to be a prime target for fraudsters, as they are likely to have a large amount of cash on deposit and may not be aware of all the scams that are around.
Make sure you educate yourself and get help from trusted family members if you are not sure about something or want to check before committing any cash and get help to put fraud safeguards in place.
Accept Help When It’s Needed
You may not want to think about cognitive decline and issues such as dementia but this is a reality for many seniors at some point in their lives, which is why it pays to prepare your financial situation for that eventuality.
Your adult children might be good candidates to help you with your finances if you feel you are struggling and you can also make arrangements to give a family member the power to act on your behalf as and when it’s needed if you want to plan ahead.
Better to do that than leave everything until its too late, which makes it harder to sort out.
Hold Off on Social Security of You Can
It is sensible to look at what you will get from social security as part of your overall retirement planning but the suggestion from a number of retirement planning professionals is to try and delay taking that money for as long as possible.
It seems that if your finances allow you to hold back from taking social security for about five years it could improve your financial situation in the long run.
Get some advice and see whether that is a strategy that could work for you.
Be Aware of Spending Patterns and Shifts
It is likely that you will experience some noticeable spending shifts at various stages of your retirement.
If you follow the model that seniors before you manage to adhere to, it is likely that you will start your retirement with a bit of a bang and spend more than anticipated while enjoying a new found freedom to do things and go places without any time constraints.
After a while that will settle down and when you get well into your senior years you will probably start going out less and want to stay at home more.
Your retirement might not work like that, but many do, so plan for these spending shifts and anticipate how much money you need to cope with each phase of your golden years.
Think About Health Expenses
Probably the biggest financial burden you will have to contend with in your senior years is health expenses, which is why it makes sense to try and prepare for this scenario as best you can.
Prescription drugs, premiums for supplemental coverages and a whole host of medical expenses that don’t feature on Medicare coverage will potential drain your financial resources.
Get some professional financial guidance if necessary, or work it out for yourself, whatever you do it is good to have a plan for how you are going to pay for those medical expenses in your retirement years.
You want to try and enjoy your time as a senior and lead as carefree a life as possible, and a good way of trying to achieve that aim is to work on getting your finances into shape and ready for the journey.