Did you just retire? Start strong and follow these simple, money-saving strategies.
Mel Barnes, SVP – Chief Operations Officer
You’ve worked hard and saved smart your entire career. Now your career journey has reached its much sought-after destination: Retirement! More time with the grandkids. More time to travel. More time to read and relax. Basically, more time to do all of the things you love the most. Sounds great, doesn’t it? And it is. We want to help you keep it that way.
Now that you have more time to do what you want, make sure you have the money to match. You don’t want your retirement to be stressful or, worse, short-lived. Start strong and follow these simple, money-saving strategies in your first year of retirement.
Stick to your budget.
First things first, did you make a budget? Your best indicator of how much you’ll spend in retirement is how much you’ve spent in your working life. Since you have roughly 40 years of experience under your belt, start there, with the knowledge your income is now fixed. Still need help? Contact us to speak to one of our financial experts.
Cool, now that you’ve made your budget, here’s the important part: Sticking to it.
Life tends to throw curveballs, and unexpected expenses are just that: Unexpected. Here are some general rules of thumb: On average, homeowners spend 1-4% of their home’s value on maintenance annually. If your house is older, play it safe and plan on 5-6%. For healthcare costs, start with your monthly Medicare premiums and prescription copays, then add a little bit of money for as-needed doctor’s visits.
Don’t take out too much too soon (follow the 4% Rule).
We get it: You’ve worked your entire life, and you’re ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, you have to remember your nest egg will have to last well beyond your first year. If you retire in your 60s, your savings will need to last around 30 years. Financial experts recommend you follow the “4% Rule”—remove 4% of your savings balance in your first year of retirement, and then adjust accordingly for withdrawal. If you retire earlier (i.e., your 50s), go even more conservative and withdrawal only 2-3%. If you retire later, 5% should be fine. We want you to be able to enjoy your retirement, but we want that enjoyment to last more than a few years.
Geoffrey Chaucer got it right hundreds of years ago—“an idle mind is the devil’s playground.” Or something like that. A little dark, but the point is being retired doesn’t mean doing nothing. Too much free time can lead to feelings of restlessness, worthlessness and even depression. Being bored can be bad for your mental and physical health, and bad for your bank account as well. Just think, if you have nothing better to do than spend money, what are you going to do? Yep, spend money.
So make a weekly schedule for yourself and stick to it. Volunteer a few days a week. Go to a museum, park or day-trip once a week. Start a club or work around the house. Or, you can even get a part-time job. You may not need the cash, but you’ll be keeping yourself busy, and passing on your wisdom to a new generation. Want to give your new coworkers some really great advice? Start by having them read this article!
For more helpful tips on how to retire smarter, contact one of our financial experts today.