Retirement: it’s a goal we all have and spend most of our working lives saving for. But many people worry about running out of money during their retirement—and with people living longer than ever before, it’s a relevant concern. But there are several steps you can take to make sure you can enjoy retirement.
Here are seven practical ways to avoid running out of money in retirement.
1. Keep earning money.
You may have stepped away from the full-time career you’ve had for the past 40-plus years, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely leave the working world. Seriously consider finding a stress-free part-time job that still allows you to enjoy your hobbies, friends and families. Besides earning a little money, the job will also keep your brain sharp. Another way to earn money in retirement is to sell things you no longer need, such as a second (or third) car or other things around the house that you haven’t used in years.
2. Monitor your assets.
Keep a close eye on your investment portfolio and how it fares in the market. This isn’t something you need to do every day or even weekly, but at least once a month find out how much your assets are worth. If you notice a negative trend, you’ll be able to take action more quickly and avoid any unpleasant surprises. Another asset value to monitor is your home. Make sure to keep up on maintenance so its value stays with the current market. For most people, their home is their biggest asset.
3. Invest for income.
Financial advisers usually tell people to become more conservative in their investments as they get older. While that’s good advice most of the time, it’s also important to invest for income—find a product that will not only deliver back on its investment, but will also earn you a little extra.
4. Spend less money.
Okay, that’s a no-brainer, right? But it’s something you need to be conscious of. If you followed a budget before you retired, do the same now. You’ll need to adjust it to note the changes in income and expenses (hopefully you’ll be spending less on clothing, gas and other areas related to working). If you’ve never had a budget, it’s not too late to draft one. Think about how much money you have coming in each month and determine how you’re going to spend it, and how much you may need to dip into savings.
5. Save more.
Another no-brainer, but it’s true: if you save more money before you retire, it’s less likely you’ll run out of it once you stop taking home a regular paycheck. Look for ways to stash more cash in your retirement savings accounts, whether it’s a 401(k) through work or an IRA. Putting away a few extra dollars every pay period can add up.
6. Buy long-term care insurance.
Nursing home costs wipe out many people’s life savings. One way to avoid this is to plan ahead and purchase long-term care insurance, which covers costs not paid for by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, when you’re in your 40s or 50s when the premiums will be cheaper. This insurance will help protect your assets if you wind up in a nursing home and with 60 percent of people over age 65 requiring some type of long-term care services during their lifetime, it’s not a bad investment.
7. Delay collecting your Social Security.
If you can, wait until 70 to collect Social Security. If you can, delay accepting your monthly Social Security payments until you reach age 70. By doing this, you’ll receive a higher amount each month.
By taking these simple steps, you’ll be less likely to outlive your savings.
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