Whether you’re already retired, or retirement is still a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s terrifically important to make your money work as hard for you as you do (or did) for it.
The days of relying solely on Social Security are long gone. With folks living longer than ever, growing your savings and making them last requires becoming strategic. The good news is that, with the right approach, you can decrease your living costs and increase the size of your nest egg. And that’s going to make your golden years even more golden!
Read on to discover the essential rules for growing and preserving your money both before and after you retire. All of them may not apply to you, but some will, so be sure to read them all.
Rule No. 1: Stay invested, but trim risk
Always own stocks, but as you age, reduce your exposure.
Rule of thumb: Subtract your age from 100, then keep that percentage in stocks. So, if you’re 60, you should have about 40% of your long-term savings in stocks. If you’re 40, the percentage would be 60%. (A slightly more aggressive variation is to use 120 rather than 100.)
The money you don’t have in stocks should go into bonds, CDs, and money market funds.
You might also consider alternative investment opportunities. Consider Rosland Capital for precious metals IRAs to diversify your retirement portfolio.
A great idea to ensure you’re on track: Book a free appointment with a professional financial advisor. Check out a free service called SmartAsset. You fill out a short questionnaire and instantly get matched with up to three vetted financial advisors in your area, all legally bound to work in your best interests.
Most advisors offer free first appointments. An expert review for free seems like a good idea.
Rule No. 2: Consider a move
Did you know moving to another state could save you thousands in taxes every year? States including Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Alaska, and others have much lower, or even no state taxes, on retirement income, Social Security benefits, pensions, and investment earnings. Do the math to see if relocating makes sense for you.
State taxes are just the tip of the iceberg. Healthcare, housing affordability, weather, amenities and retiring near family and friends are all part of the equation. But as you approach retirement, do a little research.
You might even consider the ultimate savings-stretcher: a life outside the United States. Check out “The 10 Best Places To Retire Abroad in 2024.”
Rule No. 3: Slash spending without sacrifice
Trimming even 10-15% off your spending can work wonders through the power of compounding. Small cuts over time mean more money compounding in savings. There are hundreds of ways to reduce your expenses, many that you won’t even miss.
The key is cutting spending without sacrificing your quality of life. It’s easier than you think. Click here and you’ll find dozens of articles that will help you save on dining out, entertainment, travel, shopping, gifting, housing and just about everything else.
Perfect example? You could save hundreds of dollars annually simply by shopping your car insurance. Shopping insurance used to be a hassle. Now, you can just check out companies like Provide Insurance, and compare quotes from more than 175 different carriers in minutes.
Another idea: Buy protection from unexpected major expenses.
- First American Home Warranty will cover virtually everything in your home, from appliances to your heating and air conditioning. It breaks, they fix it.
- Same idea with CarShield: No more big car repair bills.
- GoldenCare provides long-term care (LTC) insurance, protecting you from an expense that can destroy your life savings.
Is the peace of mind these services provide worth the cost? Take a few seconds, get a free quote and find out.
Rule No. 4: Harness the tools you have
You may already have assets you can convert into additional retirement cash. Example? One way to gain extra income in your retirement years is to turn your home equity into monthly income with a reverse mortgage.
A reverse mortgage is simply a loan that lets homeowners 62 and older convert their home equity into cash, but without selling the home. But they’re not for everyone, so it’s important to get more information. One lender that’s highly rated and happy to answer questions is Premier Reverse Mortgage.
Another idea: If you delay collecting Social Security past your full retirement age, you’ll get a lot more monthly income. For example, if your full retirement age benefit is $1,500 per month, but you wait until 70 to file, your new benefit would be close to $2,000 per month. That’s $6,000 extra annual income, and it rises with inflation.
Obviously, we all can’t wait till 70 to retire. Health and family longevity play a part, and some jobs are simply too demanding or stressful to continue. But if you comfortably can, it makes sense to delay.
Rule No. 5: Make some money, have some fun
It’s a good idea to have multiple income streams, not only to bring in a little extra cash, but also to have something interesting to do.
Consider part-time work doing something you love, like consulting, teaching, mentoring, translating or writing. Got a hobby? Monetize it.
For lots more ideas, check out 51 Fast Ways to Score $1,000 or More.
Bottom line? Follow the Golden Rules of Retirement Savings and you’ll end up with less stress, more time and more money to enjoy it!