4 Fundamental Finance Moves All Seniors Should Make

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Are you a senior who is getting ready for retirement? If so, you may be taking a harder look at your finances, and if you are like many seniors, you may feel a little confused. Money matters can be confusing to anyone, but here are a few key financial steps every senior should be thinking about when it’s finally time to retire.

Be Prepared to Budget Carefully in Retirement

To make your money last through retirement, you need to carefully prepare a budget. If you’ve been living off of a family budget for years, you already have a big head start. If you’re new to budgets, you may need some help setting up your retirement budget. Start by gathering bank statements for the past six to 12 months and taking a good look at your spending and income. Use highlighters to go through paper copies and write out your new budget based on your expenses and expected income. If you have a smartphone, you can also download budget apps to help you create your financial roadmap and keep you on track during retirement. You can also think about working with a budget coach to help you get off to the right start.

Set Aside Enough Funds for Healthcare Costs

Your income tends to decrease when you retire, but your healthcare costs are likely to keep going up. Recent reports estimate that seniors can expect to pay at least $280,000 for healthcare during retirement, at the very least. Medicare can definitely assist with the costs of care, but coverage is often limited and does not include long-term care. To better plan for your wellness, you should look into enrolling in supplemental plans that can offer more healthcare savings. Medicare Advantage Plans typically include the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B with even more coverage when it comes to dental, vision care, and prescription drugs. Some plans even offer health and wellness plans that can help fend off health issues by keeping you fit and eating well. Get more information on enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans and see how a little extra coverage can equal a lot in savings.

Keep an Eye Out for Fraud and Identity Theft

Identity theft is a threat to all adults. However, seniors are more vulnerable to financial fraud and identity theft schemes. Criminals tend to prey on older adults, especially those over 60, but you can protect yourself by being aware of these potential issues. If someone asks for personal information over the phone or via email, do not give it to them. Finally, make it a habit to check your credit card bills, bank statements, and credit reports. Pull up statement each month, or more often, and look for any suspicious or unusual charges. Even smaller charges can be suspicious since scammers often start with lower amounts to see if you are paying attention. You can also download free copies of your credit report to check for signs of identity theft.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help with Your Finances

Keeping up with finances and bills can be a challenge, especially as you get older. If you are having trouble remembering to pay bills or creating a solid retirement budget, it may be worth it to reach out for help. You can work with a financial advisor to get a better handle on your finances and put together a financial plan that will carry you through retirement. For seniors who need more basic help, like keeping up with bills and making important financial decisions, you can ask adult children or grandchildren for assistance. A financial power of attorney can be helpful for seniors who are unable to make financial decisions on their own anymore.

For some senior adults, they struggle to implement what they learn while being consulted by a financial advisor. They struggle to implement the plan that is created for them. If this is you, there is help. Turning Point Stewardship is a service that creates a budget with you and then implements this budget for you. They will pay your bills, make sure your savings is growing as you have planned and to make sure you get out of debt with a specific get out of debt plan.

If you are an older adult, understanding your finances doesn’t have to be stressful. With a few basic steps, you can get a good start on your financial future. You can easily prepare a budget, keep an eye out for fraud, and prepare for healthcare costs, but don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. So, take control of your finances and take more control over your life.

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June Duncan 💚 june@riseupforcaregivers.org

Rise Up for Caregivers