If you’re well past the midlife crisis stage and still don’t have a retirement plan to fall back on, there’s no need for a second life crisis. More and more, forty, fifty, and sixty-something’s start saving for retirement later in life and still have plenty of time to enjoy the benefits. So, if you’re a late bloomer when it comes to an early retirement, the following tips will help you get your latter years back on the right financial track.
Create and Follow a Retirement-Friendly Budget
Image via Flickr by Ken Teegardin
Budgeting for retirement, especially when the budgeting process begins late in life, is a little different than your average budget. Why? Because the entire budget process is expedited depending on your age and the age you’d like to stop working. In other words, cut the costly fat from your spending habits and cut it quick.
The rest of the tips below will help you with the trimming process, but if you have trouble following a strict, fat-free budget, you’ll need to change your ways. If that means investing in a financial planner or, at the very least, downloading a free budgeting app, then do it. A retirement budget is a great tool, but only if that tool is used correctly.
Make Credit Cards a Thing of the Past
If your credit card debt has followed you since the day you made your first purchase, it’s time to put an end to that money-eating line of credit. Don’t get discouraged, paying off your credit cards and the accumulated interest is a fairly painless process as long as you’re willing to reallocate your otherwise disposable income to do so.
Whether it’s a couple hundred dollars or a few thousand, just making the minimum payments each month will only make your balance increase. So, redirect some savings toward your credit card debt or make budget cuts in other departments like entertainment. Once you’re debt free, you’ll really start saving for retirement.
When you never see the money to begin with, it makes it that much easier to save. Setting up an automatic deposit plan allows you to divert a portion of your monthly income into a savings account or other savings plan like a 401k or Roth IRA. As long as the savings accrue interest, you’ll make money off your own money.
Another great savings option is contributing to an annuity through an insurance provider. You could get a deferred annuity through the insurance provider. Deferred annuities are when the income payments are deferred for a period of time while the premium grows. After retirement or the contract matures, the value can be taken as a lump sum or turned into an immediate annuity.
Develop a Second Stream of Income
The best way to increase your retirement savings is by developing a second stream of income. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make a little extra money each month to put towards your retirement plan. Taking on a part-time job that’s low stress and fits within your schedule is a great option.
And, even if the job you already have doesn’t allow for moonlighting, there are plenty of home-based options available. Whether it’s freelancing online or becoming a remote customer call technician, the possibilities are endless. Or, if you have knowledge to share, why not teach night classes at the local junior college?
Downsize Your Living Situation
Too much of a good thing can end up costing you more than you bargained for, which is exactly why downsizing the way you live is financially beneficial. If you and your spouse are empty nesters, sell your four-bedroom house and downsize to a one-bedroom condo or apartment.
Also, with the sale of your house also comes savings in the insurance, mortgage, maintenance, and utilities departments. Likewise, renting instead of buying your new place of residence will save you tons on expenses associated with homeownership. So, slim down your living situation and save big for retirement.
Take Public Transportation
Owning and maintaining a vehicle is basically money out the window, considering cars, trucks, and SUVs all depreciate in value with every mile they accumulate. So, if you want to save hundreds a month on car maintenance, gas, and insurance, sell your vehicle, put the profits toward retirement, and take the bus or ride a bike. You never know who you may cross paths with!
Whether you start a retirement-friendly budget, downsize to a one-bedroom apartment, or both, retiring comfortably later in life is a real possibility.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.