With an increasing number of baby boomers entering their retirement years and a growing population of post-working citizens, the topic of how to best live out your golden years is fresh on many people’s mind. You don’t have to be included within this class of people to begin thinking retirement tools; in fact, you should be planning and thinking about your retirement well before you get there.
The American Dream still exists, it just requires deliberation and resourcefulness to turn your dreams into reality. Here are 10 tools you can use in your golden years, divided by category, to give you the means to enjoy your retirement to the fullest.
Financial Tools to Use in Retirement
The biggest challenge retirees face once they stop working is making ends meet on a limited income. Here are some tools that can help cover the cost of living.
- Budget: Your budget should be your best friend in retirement. Carefully track all sources of income and balance that number against your regular recurring expenses (mortgage, car payment, etc.). Allocate room in your budget for anticipated expenses, like a future vacation or the grandkid’s birthdays, then see how much money you’re left to spend on a monthly basis—and don’t go over this number.
- Rental Property: Rental properties are a great way to make passive income during retirement. Perhaps you can downsize into a smaller home and lease your current property to tenants, or maybe it’s time to invest in that Florida beach rental you’ve dreamt of. Either way, be sure to stay on top of your property taxes or you could owe more than you make.
- Reverse Mortgage: Qualifying homeowners can also convert the equity in their homes into disposable income using reverse mortgage solutions. A counselor will go over all of the details of the federal home equity conversion mortgage to ensure this alternative form of financing is right for you.
Housing Tools to Use in Retirement
Deciding on your home for retirement can be tricky, but we can help.
- Realtors: If you’ve decided that downsizing into a smaller home is a wise decision in your retirement years, our site can help connect you to professionals in your area who can assist with finding you the best property and at the greatest value.
- Contractors: Some retired seniors would prefer to age independently rather than move into a smaller house or nursing home. If you’re hiring a professional contractor to make your home more livable, gloss over our checklist for remodeling with retirement in mind.
Planning Tools to Use in Retirement
Make sure you have all the right people by your side as you coast into your sunset years!
- Power of Attorney: Depending on your health, it’s smart to designate power of attorney to a partner or family member who will be tasked with handling your business and financial decisions according to your estate planning. They will also be able to enforce your directives should you become unable to do so yourself.
- Financial Advisor: In order to make your retirement income last, it may be wise to hire a financial advisor who can oversee your assets, manage your portfolio, and inform you with the best advice money management advice.
- Family Members: As you’re making these decisions, it’s important to have a discussion with your family members about your long-term health care to ensure everyone is on the same page. This will make converting to a smaller home or nursing home easier when the time comes.
Social Tools to Use in Retirement
Finally—and most importantly—retirement is all about enjoying new leisure time with the people you love most. Take advantage of these resources to socialize and prevent post-retirement boredom!
- Senior Community Centers: There are many senior community centers all across the states that specialize in serving the seasoned elderly with games, classes, workshops, and events. These are great places to learn new skills, make new friends, and stay engaged with your community.
- Group Clubs: Whether you love books, movies, or games of golf, there’s probably a club dedicated to your passion of choice. Weekly or monthly meetings will motivate you and give you something to look forward to!
If you’re nearing your retirement or are basking in your golden years, these tools will help you make the most of every moment.