By Michele Reitan, Business Office Manager
Retirement is an exciting next chapter of our lives, full of the promise of relaxation and opportunities for volunteering, family time, travel, and fun. However later retirement sometimes comes with new challenges and stressors as we slow down and need additional help. Financially speaking, your income is generally lower during retirement than during one’s earning years. Mapping out a budget that makes sense for this stage of life is an important step in preparing for a comfortable retirement. Here are a few select suggestions and pieces of financial advice for older adults:
First and most importantly, know you that you are not alone. Since older adults are at a higher risk of fraud and identity theft, it’s important to get help instituting anti-fraud measures. Don’t be afraid to say no to requests for contributions and be cognizant not to give out your personal information over the phone. Many financial institutions provide special assistance for older adults. Be sure to ask your bank or credit union about their aging-friendly policies. For example, you may be able to receive essential financial documents printed in a larger font, making it easier for you to make out important details. If you find that your institution does not cater to older clients, it may be time to do some “comparison shopping,” and find an institution that will go above and beyond to help you.
Though we are often reticent to discuss finances with even our closest friends, I suggest involving your family and friends in your planning process. As you develop a spending plan for your retirement, you may also want to find a financial advisor outside of your personal network. Look for an advisor with measured, professional expertise and a violation-free track record, and remember that if something seems too good to be true—it is!
Older adults are also uniquely positioned to turn hobbies into extra sources of income! Now that you are no longer employed full-time in the workforce, consider turning your leisure activities into a productive enterprise. Here at Seventy Five State Street for example, many residents enjoy exhibiting (and selling!) their original artwork during First Friday. In addition to generating income, keep your eye out for deals and discounts for seniors as balancing expenditures is just as important as income. Everyone knows about the AARP and AAA but countless other organizations also offer special discounts for older adults.
Finally, stay organized and keep learning. Make sure to file your documents regularly, in an orderly
fashion and in a secure location. This will help you manage your day to day expenses better and if you fall ill, your loved ones will be able to better assist you in obtaining the care you need. Financial literacy is a lifelong skill that never grows old and learning helps keep the mind active.