Saving Money Before and During Retirement

Saving money before and during retirement so their standard of living doesn’t suffer is important for many retirees. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t saving nearly enough and are falling short of setting aside adequate funds to support their retirement needs. The average retirement savings for people aged 56-61 is only $163,577. Meanwhile, retirees can spend nearly $275,000 on health care. The National Institute for Retirement Security estimates that America has an up to $14 trillion gap in retirement savings.

If you are retired and finding that balancing your savings and spending is an ongoing challenge, follow these tips for ways to trim your expenses and save more.

1. Cut Your ‘Time-Saving’ Costs
When you’re employed and busy managing your career and family, spending money on time-saving items—like professional house cleaning or monthly food-subscription services—can be helpful. Once you retire, however, you typically have more time on your hands. You may be paying for items that are no longer necessary. You can save money each month by trimming or eliminating any time-saving resources you don’t need to support your retirement lifestyle.

Actions to take:
• List all the monthly, quarterly, and annual subscriptions and services you have. Identify which ones aren’t necessary.
• Consider taking over household chores you pay someone else to manage.
• Assess how much you spend on eating out, and switch to eating in for some of those meals.

2. Reduce Your Health-Care Costs
Retirees typically spend a large amount on health care, often siphoning income that could be used for other expenses. Unless you have the money to pay these bills, they could leave you in a financial bind. You can help reduce some of your medical costs by learning to shop around. For example, changes like getting an MRI at a radiologist instead of a hospital can make a difference in your medical bills, as the radiologist is typically less expensive.

Actions to take:
• Get comparative quotes from hospitals and other medical professionals.
• Check prescription costs at different pharmacies, and consider buying generic.
• Revisit your insurance plans to help identify if you’re receiving the best value.

Every retiree’s financial life and needs are different, so knowing a true breakdown of your daily, monthly, and yearly costs (your budget) is important for finding ways to save. By taking time to assess what may be unnecessary spending in your life, and reducing or eliminating these expenses, you may have more money on hand for other lifestyle needs.

To learn more about how you can trim your spending or pursue other financial goals in retirement, please contact us. We’re happy to help you explore strategies for your unique needs.

“It’s not the situation, but whether we react (negative) or respond (positive) to the situation that’s important.”

–Zig Ziglar

Stock Market Correction Coming!

Are you concerned that the stock market is getting overvalued and on the verge of a nasty correction? This 10 minute You Tube video will provide helpful education in a logical , unemotional and scientific way. I think you will find it very revealing.

Administration and Probate

Everyone hates probate. Someone dies, someone else goes to court, and, after delays and expenses the assets are distributed. Why go through this unnecessary time and expense?

Probate assets include house, cars, bank accounts, timeshares, mineral interests, rental property and certified securities. Most banks and title companies will NOT allow transfer of these assets without a “letter” issued by the probate court.

On the other hand , non probate assets transfer immediately. All you need is a death certificate. No lawyer, no probate , no delays.

There are 3 simple ways to create non probate assets. First,, a single owner can list out a beneficiary. Examples are for life insurance, IRAs, brokerage accounts and internet bank accounts. Second, an account can be set up as joint ownership with right of survivorship. Each owner must agree and no owner can be removed without every other owner’s consent. This is a easy way to do things but has many pitfalls.
Third a Revocable Intervivos Trust, aka, Living Trust may be set up. Under this arrangement all your assets are owned by the trust which never dies until you say that it dies ( ends or terminates). You still have full access to all the assets. Thus there is NO need for Living or Death Probate since you do not have any assets in your name.

All of these methods can work. My favorite is a Living Trust for anyone with over $100,000 in assets. Get the book, “The Loving Trust” by Esperti and Peterson for a great down to earth explanation of all 3 above listed methods.

Ways to Save $,Part 2

Here are a few other ways to save some money:

* Buy pills and split them. Ask your doctor if it is cheaper to get half the amount of double strength medication than normal strength. Then split each pill into two doses with a $5 device.

*Buy refilled ink cartridges. In many cases you pay $20 for a refilled version versus $80 for a new one.

*Vacation in a dorm room. Colleges overseas rent summer dorm rooms. Savings can be substantial. Go to: Universityrooms.com

*Take a defensive driving course. Many auto insurers will drop 10% off your annual premium. Call them before attending class to see if it is worthwhile.

*Market old Electronics. Once popular items have become collectables. See EBAY for prices. A first generation IPOD was selling for $150.

*Raise your deductible . If you raise your homeowner policy from $500 to $1000 you could save 25%. The rule is a payback in 8 years. So, if you increase deductible by $500 the premium savings needs to be at least $60 per year.

Hope this helps. Remember any money saved is not spent. Invest it for your future!

Ways to Save $$$ , Part 1

* Sell to Amazon. They accept a slew of old items like videogames, books and Kindle Readers for trade-in, or, in exchange for a gift card. Check out the Trade-In Store. If listed, then print out the shipping label and send it.

* Get Free E-books. Download 60,000 public domain E-books at Gutenberg.org

* Mulch for Free. Google your County name and “free mulch” or ‘free compost” to see if it is offered.

* Dine for less. Restaurant.com offers discounted gift certificates.

* Call before you pay. Banks and Credit Card companies will usually waive a rare late payment fee. That can save you $35-$39.

* Skip Rental Car Insurance. Check with your Carrier first to see if you are covered adequately. Most times your Auto Policy covers the use of Rental cars. Save a bundle each time you rent.

Now , you know me. With these savings Don’t Spend it ,rather, invest the savings for your future