Seniors And Finances

We are going to go over some tips and tricks to help you make your money last as long as you do and possibly beyond!  Let’s get started.

First and foremost, you must create a budget for yourself and your household.  Once you retire, your income may reduce significantly.  One way to make sure you don’t outlive your savings and investments is to evaluate your living expenses and make sure you’re your expenses don’t exceed your monthly income on a regular basis.  If your income is less than your expenses, it is up to you to cut out things that are not a necessity.  Put everything on paper so you physically see your money coming in and your money going out.  This will help you make changes if they are necessary.

Secondly, keep the amount of money you have to yourself.  Family members will always be your family.  Sometimes, family members struggle and look to others for help whether it be temporary or not.  Helping your family is a wonderful thing but do so with limitations.  You can not help everyone.  If you try to, your finances will suffer which could result in dire financial circumstances. Grown children should be able to get out of their financial troubles on their own.  You can help them out by setting up a budget for them and help them cut unnecessary costs.

Third, communication is the key.  If you are married, are you aware of each other’s wants versus needs?  Even though you may have been married for many years, wants can and usually do change.  Have an honest conversation with your spouse and make sure your wants and goals are in alignment.  That way there is no confusion going forward in retirement.

Fourth, make sure your bank is on your side.  You may need statements or forms printed in larger font. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions if you don’t understand something the first time. If you cannot physically go into your bank, will someone meet with you at your car?  Sometimes the drive through is not easy to navigate, no matter your age.  Check with your bank to make sure they have these age friendly policies in effect before you need to utilize them.

Fifth, being a senior puts you at a higher risk of fraud.  There are a lot of people that take advantage of the elderly such as scammers pretending to be your bank, utility company or the IRS. If you can’t do so yourself, have a family member help you set up alerts for your accounts, so they are notified of any transactions over a certain dollar amount.  Make sure you choose a unique pin for your cards and accounts and keep them safe.

Sixth, is being aware of your own ability manage your bills and other finances.  Cognitive function tends to decline as we age.  It generally starts in the sixties and seventies.  Have your adult children help you from falling behind.  Don’t be to proud to ask for help.  They are there for you like you were there for them growing up.

Seventh, never stop educating yourself.  Research by Joosuk Sebastian Chae of the University of Massachusetts shows that the more financial literacy you gain, the more financial stability you have.  Learn about the different investment and savings options where you can build your financial stability and keep it.

Eighth, communicate with your adult children about your assets.  Have this talk while you are still cognitively unimpaired.  Let them know where to find your account information and your wishes for each.  Your adult children need to know how you want to spend your money as you age or when you become unable to make the decisions for yourself.  Write out a plan with your child or children and make them completely aware of your plans for later in life.

Ninth, if you have an abundance of savings, you may want to consider starting a business.  Is there something you are good at or passionate about?  Having a business may add to your retirement income and provide you a great deal of satisfaction.  AARP and the Small Business Administration will be there for you if and when you decide to start your business.

Tenth and lastly, it is never to late to teach!  Your grandchildren look up to you because you have lived and learned.  Start talking to your grandchildren and educating them about your experiences including saving, business or investing.  You never know what kind of an impact you are going to have on their spending habits later on in life.  Many grandparents are frugal and don’t overspend.  Their grandchildren remember that and end up spending the same way.  Everyone wants to be prepared for the future and struggle financially.

Just always remember to keep track of your spending, don’t overspend, save and invest.  Your future depends on it.  Happy savings!

Related articles