« »

Friday, December 6, 2013

7 techniques for making the most of your golden years

Changes to household budgets is common in retirment planning
Senior discounts lower retirement costs
By Mary Sutton

If you are approaching retirement age, you may have already made plans for traveling, spending time with friends and family and enjoying these golden years.

Finding the funding necessary for these activities may be challenging. These seven money-saving strategies, however, may free up the financial resources you and your family need to realize your dreams and make the most of your well-earned retirement.

Downsizing to save

Moving to smaller quarters can often free up cash for a wide range of activities, including travel and entertainment. Smaller homes and apartments typically require less maintenance and can allow you to enjoy more leisure time to spend with loved ones and friends in your area.

Don't forget about discounts

Many restaurants and retail outlets offer senior citizen discounts and other incentives that can save you money. National organizations that cater to retired individuals may also offer discount programs for hotels, resorts and travel arrangements for their members. These discounts can potentially add up to big savings over the course of an average year.

Get involved

Volunteering with charitable organizations, church groups, public libraries or food kitchens can help you stay active and involved with your local community. You'll meet new people and make new friends while doing something good for others. This can ensure that your retirement years are filled with worthwhile activities and meaningful pursuits.

Join your family. Relocating to an area closer to your family can help you stay in touch with the people who matter most, especially if you have grandchildren. This can also help adult children who may occasionally need babysitting services or an extra hand with occasional tasks. Be sure to discuss expectations with your children before the move to ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

Ditch the daily commute

For retired couples, maintaining two vehicles may not make good financial sense. Downsizing to one sensible car or truck can save you money on insurance costs, license fees and upkeep that can add up to big savings over the course of a year. Additionally, negotiating with your insurance company for lower rates due to reduced travel can also provide you with added funds for enjoying your retirement.

Cash in your insurance

Opting for a life settlement arrangement can allow you to put the value of your insurance policies to work in funding your retirement plans. Also referred to as viatical settlements, these financial arrangements are designed to provide you with cash on hand to manage your ongoing expenses and to splurge on a few luxuries for yourself.

Steer clear of scams

Financial fraud and exploitation are among the biggest threats facing seniors in the United States. Fraud that specifically targets retired persons is so common that the National Council on Aging refers to this trend as "the crime of the 21st century." Remaining alert and checking into any deals that seem too good to be true can help you avoid most of these costly crimes and remain financially stable throughout your golden years.

These seven strategies can allow you to make the most of your retirement and to explore opportunities to share your time and emotional support with others in your community and in your family group.

About the author: Mary Sutton- Mary is a Senior Writer for Fertile Content and a frequent guest contributor to many blogs Google+