By: Darleen Mahoney
Being financially prepared before and during retirement is integral in assuring a comfortable and less stressful “golden years”.
Knowing what your retirement bills will look like verses your work life bills and expenses are helpful in budgeting. You may save money on commuting expenses and buying expensive clothes, work lunches and multiple co-worker “life events” financial contributions, but what is the offset in your income?
The first thing you would want to do is assess your finances. Any good budget begins with understanding of your current income and expenses.
Your biggest expense in retirement will most likely be your housing. If you can pay off your mortgage before retirement this will eliminate your biggest monthly expense. If you are unable to do this, you might find it beneficial to downsize and decrease your monthly mortgage, cashing in on any equity to help build up your nest egg. You may also want to consider retirement living and active adult retirement communities as options as they can offer turnkey solutions for long term home stability.
The other biggest expense during retirement will be health care expenses. It is imperative to do a deep dive into what is available to you, especially if you retire before being eligible for Medicare. You may also want to consider budgeting and saving for long term care expenses, as you or your spouse may need them.
Tracking your expenses with online budgeting tools can also be a real eye opener on where your money may be going. Budgeting tools like Mint and You Need a Budget will sync with your bank account and will be able to track where your money goes. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/articles/2016-08-10/7-tips-for-budgeting-in-retirement
Additional recommendations you might want to consider:
• Have fun-watching TV is not a healthy way to live and these should truly be the years that you have worked so hard for!
• Emergencies! – Big ticket items like New AC, Car repairs, new refrigerator, etc.
• Avoid Debt!
Most retirees have a fixed budget where they may live on a month to month income, creating a budget and being prepared will allow you the opportunity to enjoy your retirement with less financial stress.