Turning Health Into Financial Wealth: Budgeting Strategies for Seniors

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January is Financial Wellness Month, and the start of the new year is the perfect time to adopt an improved financial strategy that benefits our future. As we get older, it becomes more important than ever to save and spend wisely in order to be financially prepared for things like retirement and unforeseen health- related expenses. Here, we’ve compiled some tips that will help you ensure that you are building your financial health and wealth in 2018 and beyond.

-Seek advice from a professional financial expert.

Employing the help of a Financial Advisor you trust is a very smart decision for seniors, as they can provide invaluable advice on a number of complex financial concerns unique to them, like how quickly to take money from savings and how to invest in your later years. They can also help you put together a budget that works for your unique situation, expenses, and income level.

-Develop a long-term spending plan.

As mentioned above, creating a well-laid plan for your money and limiting expenses during retirement is very important to achieve financial security that lasts. Consider new ways to cut costs, such as letting your auto insurer know you no longer drive your car to work. It is also important to continue putting some of your income into savings, especially for short-term goals like holiday gifts or vacations, because that can help you avoid a large, sudden withdrawal from your retirement investments.

-Think about ways to turn a hobby or another interest into a part-time job.

Even when you’re retired, finding a small means of supplementing your income doing something your passionate about is great for your pocketbook and for your mental and social health. There are many ways to bring in a bit of extra cash during retirement, including seasonal jobs, freelance consulting. However, it is also important to consider if this extra money might affect other aspects of your finances based on your income, such as Medicare costs, Social Security benefits, and taxes.

Look into discounts and other deals.

If you are a savvy senior, you will come to find that there are a lot of opportunities available to receive discounted rates on a variety of goods and services. For consumers over a certain age, some financial institutions may offer breaks on the cost of bank products and services. It is always beneficial to keep an eagle eye out for “Senior Specials” at restaurants and other businesses you frequent and to ask about potential deals for seniors on services you commonly use. After all, that free coffee you’re eligible for at McDonalds definitely adds up to some significant savings over time!

-Review your credit reports even if you don’t plan to apply for a new loan. 

Mistakes or other errors on your credit reports could make it more costly for you to buy insurance or borrow money, which is why it is always important to continue monitoring it on a regular basis. It is also a great way for seniors to protect themselves against potential cases of identity theft. We recommend ordering your free credit report at least once every 12 months from each of the three main credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Organize and protect your important documents.

It is important that you are always able to quickly and easily locate important financial documents any time you need to access them. Examples of items that should be kept in a safe, secure place include your bank and brokerage statements, insurance policies, and Social Security and company pension records. A safe deposit box is the best place for storing important documents and valuables. It is also recommended that you seal them in airtight and waterproof plastic bags or containers to prevent water damage.

-Prepare for the possibility that you may need help managing your finances sometime in the future.

We never know what the future holds, and it is vital that our financial interests remain in hands we trust to always take care of our best interests. Consider writing down a list of your financial institutions and account numbers and keeping it in a safe place that trusted loved ones know about and can access in an emergency. An attorney can help you decide if you should have a legal document known as a power of attorney (POA), which would allow one or more people you designate to make key financial decisions for you in the event you are no longer able to do so.

We hope that these tips inspire you to start this new year on the right foot towards making 2018 your most financially healthy and wealthy year yet! Building the right foundation will allow you to walk a path of financial security for all the years to come.

SOURCE: FDIC