The journey to retirement begins with the first day of work and, while saving for retirement should be the primary focus, preparing to spend that nest egg wisely is also important. Today, retirement covers a longer period of time than ever before – thirty years or more for some people – so ensuring that the money is going to stretch and serve well is a priority.
Good money habits during retirement
One of the top ways to save money during retirement can begin long before actually retiring. Having bad habits with money can have an immediate effect as well as a long-term effect on finances, but establishing good habits and patterns can have a very positive effect very quickly and, once established, will be easy to maintain when retired. Make it a habit to work out a monthly budget, as well as planning for yearly expenses, and stick to it as closely as possible. Explore available discount programs and cards, particularly when eligible for senior discounts.
Choosing a retirement community
Though some retirees will have enough saved to maintain their own home or travel the world, living in a senior community is the best long-term option for many. Senior communities, in particular independent living communities and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), offer a wide variety of services and amenities in addition to the peace of mind that an all-inclusive living environment provides. With utilities and maintenance taken care of by the facility, residents are free to enjoy activities out and about, or simply sit in and relax. A senior community lifestyle can be a money-saving option, keeping most living expenses at a constant unlike the fluctuations that occur when maintaining a home and car and living independently outside a community.
One important criterion to be considered when choosing a senior community is the quality of health care offered by the facility. Health care is one of the largest expenses incurred during the retirement years and, as more and more retirees live into their 80s and 90s, the prospect of needing continuing care becomes ever more likely. Senior communities offer a variety of different health care programs and options for residents, customizing care to suit their individual needs. From personal care to memory care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s to respite and hospice care, senior communities provide quality care with professional medical staff that will help a resident retiree save money.
Planning a worry-free retirement
Though worries may arise during the years leading up to retirement, from concerns over whether there will be enough money to retire to worrying whether there will be enough money to get through retirement, one thing is certain: the retirement years should enjoyed! After a lifetime of work, retirement should be a time of unique opportunities and fun. Living in the ideal senior community can be a major part of that worry-free and enjoyable retirement.
All the clever investment strategies and plans cannot ensure a worry-free retirement, but fostering good habits with money early on, as well as exploring retirement community living as a real option, can help stretch those dollars throughout retirement.