Retirement is the end goal for everyone from their first day in the work world. It is a step towards, what many think, is a freedom that is not available when younger. Often, this means that employers who have a retirement plan, like a 401k, for their employees, are highly sought after. But this also means that many people place all of their hopes and plans on their employer.
This used to be the case for pensions (when those were a thing), but since inflation has occurred and pensions have all but become extinct, most people look to their employer/retirement plans for the future. Do you think that you have enough to cover your retirement from 66 until your death? It’s a gruesome, but very important question.
If you have just enough in your retirement to pay for the basics for the rest of your life, you won’t have enough money for emergencies, healthcare, birthdays, or traveling, or events. Most people with a 401k will end up needing to return to work, at least part-time, to make up for those unforeseen situations that their monthly stipend will not cover.
Types of Retirement
As with most things in life, you should get a feel for what type of retirement you want to have. Based on which one is right for you, there will be a large amount of difference in planning. For example, there is (1) traditional retirement. In this, you will (ideally) never return to work—this requires saving as much as possible for as long as possible.
There is also the case of (2) semi-retirement, where your hours are reduced, but you are still actively working a few days a week or a month. This would require less saving than the traditional retirement, but you are not as free as with traditional retirement. Then, there are (3) temporary retirements, which are normally between a few months to a year long, and at the end the retiree would return to work. This requires a return to work, since a good amount of the ‘retirement’ would be spent during this hiatus.
As stated before, there is a lot that goes into financial planning for your retirement. If you think, even for a moment, that you do not have enough money to cover everything that could happen during your retirement—it is time to speak to a financial advisor, and it is time to look at your financial options to see how you can save (or gain!) more money in your golden years.
Financial Options for Saving Money
Ideally, as you step into your retirement, you will have become a professional at saving money. But just because you’ve stepped away from working doesn’t mean that the saving stops. Instead, it should be more prevalent than ever, unless you’ve amassed a large amount. One of your best options for saving money comes from doing things like downsizing or prioritizing. If you bought a multi-room home for your young family, and all of the kids have grown and moved out, it could be the best time to start downsizing everything.
Selling your family-home or your second car, could mean that you are saving money because you aren’t spending that money on things for the five-bedroom house, or the second car that you no longer use. Furthermore, you can save more money by placing your finances in the hands of a professional who can guide and direct your spending monthly, such as paying down your mortgage early.
If you’re comfortable with it, you can rent out spare bedrooms in your home with platforms like Airbnb. You can also hire volunteers to help you around the house with cleaning, gardening, and shopping tasks in exchange for room and board using platforms like Workaway. This saves you from having to hire other people to complete these tasks for you or assist you as you take care of them.
Financial Options for Gaining Money
If something does happen that is unforeseen, or you are spending more money than you thought (as that commonly happens), there are ways to get money even as a retiree not wanting to return to work. We all know that things like yard sales are normal solutions for getting some quick money—but yard sales will only net you money if you are a good negotiator, and if you have items in good condition.
Instead of going to these small time options, consider thinking bigger. One of the best ways you can gain money during your retirement is by looking at options for using your home’s equity. Reverse mortgages look specifically at your home’s equity, as well as your eligibility, to give you a lump sum of money—a percentage of your home’s equity. Now this money (depending on the type of reverse mortgage) can be used for anything. Medical bills, presents, travel, all of it can be financed via your reverse mortgage.
And what makes this offer better, is that you don’t have to pay back the loan until you sell the house, leave the house permanently, or die (in which case the bank or your family may take the property). If you’d like to get an estimate for how much money you could get from a reverse mortgage, here’s a calculator to help you get started: https://reverse.mortgage/calculator.
While a reverse mortgage might be ideal for seniors who have the majority equity stake in their home, there are other ways you can leverage your equity, too. For example, alternatively, you can opt for a home equity line of credit. In this situation, you can receive a loan by using the equity you already have in your property as collateral.
There are many options you can choose from, and it’s important to realize that you’re not alone in this situation. Many retired individuals struggle with finances and have a difficult time deciding how they’ll manage their bills. It is essential that you pick the one that is best for you. That way, you know what to expect and how to change your budget to meet your financial needs.