While growing older is a luxury not afforded to all, the financial resources available can also be varied depending on individual situations.
Perhaps you are impacted by the financial burdens of multiple marriages, or have never been married at all and have no family to rely on. Maybe your partnership includes a large age gap between the two of you and the younger individual has transitioned into a default caregiver. Whatever the situation may be, finding your unique support system is the key to enjoying your golden years.
Where to Begin? Budgeting.
A realistic budget is one that takes into account all of your monthly income from various sources. Together with an income plan, this will provide a steady paycheck and investment strategy, ensuring some portion of your nest egg can continue to grow.
You can ensure your finances are on track by keeping everything organized and up-to-date.
If you ever created a budget during your working years, you’ll recognize similar fundamentals at play.
First, you’ll review your recurring monthly expenses and set aside enough money to have those paid off...ideally at the first of the month.
Second, you will want to go through additional healthcare, transportation, and food expenses.
Third, you will want to compile a list of activities, entertainment, and travel you plan on doing in the upcoming year and create a budget for each of those events.
Lastly, you will want to make sure you have enough in savings to ensure you won’t default on any payments, should an emergency arise.
Need some additional insights into your spending habits? Pour through old receipts from the previous year to help you determine an average annual spend on these above expenses and provide some analytics. If your bank account has online access you should easily be able to download old banking and credit card statements. Break out your highlighter and get to work!
Finding the Help You Need.
If you are an older American who doesn’t have any immediate family to lean on, life can feel scary sometimes - and the effects of the ongoing pandemic are sure to compound these stressors. Seek help! Whether you are falling behind on bills or need someone to drive you to the grocery store, you may feel your options are limited — but they are not. There are many resources available to assist you on daily necessities.
Friends - Most of us find it difficult to ask for help, whether it is due to feelings of guilt or pride. But more often than not, friends enjoy helping others and would be more than happy to lend a helping hand. Consider doing grocery shopping at the same time each week, or carpooling to the post office. Don’t have any close friends? Consider joining a club or volunteering in your community. Meeting a new group of people will usually offer up some new friendly faces.
Apps - Advancements in technology can be our friend, despite feeling like our foe. Apps like EyeOn allows for scheduled check-ins and easy access to call individuals when an emergency arises. Pillboxie is an app that will send you alerts when it's time to take your medication, so you don’t have to worry about missing any doses.
Redesign Your Home - Make your home age-friendly. You may not be at a point where you need a bar to help you get out of the bathtub, but the years may not be too far ahead. Prepare in advance by installing all the additional features to make your home easier to navigate.
Emergency House Keys - Leaving a key in an emergency box outside of your home is a great way to add another layer of protection for potential health scares. If a friend or emergency worker is able to get into your home easily, there will be a higher chance of helping you in a timely fashion should you need medical support.
AARP - Becoming a member of this organization offers many benefits to older adults such as: job boards and resume help, as well as discounts on travel, entertainment, health, insurance, wireless, technology, and restaurants.
Assisted Living Facilities - If your medical situation requires consistent care, moving into a community home with medical personnel on staff is a great option. You will have all the help you need under one roof in this type of environment.
Enlist Professional Financial Help
Retirement can be a great opportunity to kick back and enjoy experiences you were never able to do while working. Working with a financial advisor can help you effectively budget, invest and reduce your expenses.
Consider a Certified Financial Planner - Certified financial planners will conduct a comprehensive financial audit to understand what you need to do to meet your goals and can help determine debt repayment plans, be a trusted advisor on tax laws, and more.
Utilize Automated Bill Payments - Most banks and financial institutions have the ability to set up automatic payment for recurring expenses like mortgage/rent, utilities, healthcare premiums and more. Establishing a “set and forget” mentality for these payments will alleviate the possibility of missing payments and accruing late fees.
Select a Power of Attorney (POA) - Appointing someone you trust as Power of Attorney will help in planning for when you are incapable of making a decision for yourself. This person will act on behalf of your best interests with any directions you have made while you are in your right mind.
Designate a Social Security Funds Recipient - Appointing someone you trust as the payee on your Social Security funds is also a way to gain financial security should you become incapacitated. This individual can report how the funds are being used to the Social Security Administration on your behalf.
It is a challenge to grow old alone, but no one has to suffer from it. This period in life can be rewarding, enjoyable, and safe when you have the right support team and sound financial guidance.
Learn more about how Trust & Will can help you get your financial affairs in order today.
Is there a question here we didn’t answer? Reach out to us today or Chat with a live member support representative!