Stretch Your Money and Live Comfortably
If you’re finding that the nest egg you’ve been planning for retirement looks like it may not be enough, you’re not alone. With the average life expectancy now somewhere between 76 and 81 years of age, retirement plans have to last longer than ever. Fortunately, you have options to make retirement a bit easier, without having to squirrel away every dime you make today.
Delay Social Security Payments
If you don’t need to rely on social security payments, consider delaying them as long as possible, at least up to the age of 70. While these benefits are available for most people somewhere around 66 or 67 years of age, if they retire, there’s a little-known perk to waiting.
There is an 8% annual interest increase, which, over the course of those delayed years, amounts to an approximate 24% increase. This can mean a much larger Social Security check.
After age 70 this increase stops, so there’s no point in delaying it beyond that age, but the 3 to 4 years of extra interest can add up quickly and provide more money to live on in your retirement years.
Take Advantage of Catch-Up Contributions
Those of us beyond the age of 50 can (and should, if possible) take advantage of the IRS catch-up contribution allowances.
Catch-up contribution limits vary depending on the type of retirement account. IRA accounts allow $1,000 per year over the annual limits. For Thrift Savings Plans, 457 plans, 401(k) and 403(b) accounts, the limits are $6,000 while SIMPLE 401(k) plans have a $3,000 catch-up limit. These additional amounts make it easier to save more in a shorter period of time, so they should be at the top of the list of your considerations.
Monetize a Hobby or Passion
Many people find that they miss the active lifestyle they had when they were working — not to mention the income. If you’re one of those people who likes to stay busy, why not make some money doing something you already enjoy? Now, while you’re making your retirement plans, is the perfect time to take a hobby and make it into a profit generator.
Don’t have one? No problem, there are lots of side gigs you can get into to provide a little (or a lot) of extra income. Some popular options include dog sitting, freelance writing and teaching English. Of course, if you love your current job, you could always stay where you are for a few extra years or even drop down to part-time status to keep your foot in the door and a little cash coming in.
Publish a Memoir
With a lifetime of experiences behind you, you probably have some fantastic experiences that others would love to read about. Modern publishing offers a lot of options for those who would like to publish their work themselves but there’s no reason you can’t go the traditional route and get your stories out in the world — and pick up a paycheck while you’re at it.
Charge for Babysitting
We all love the little ones, and one of the best parts of being retired is getting to spend time with the grandkids. But working parents can chip in and contribute toward the well-being of those who once cared for them and are now caring for their kids, too. It’s not too much to ask that they kick in some help to cover the costs of feeding and entertaining little ones, especially when they are saving on daycare. Don’t be afraid to ask that they do.
Chances are, you’ve been around long enough to know what you need to survive — and even thrive — in your retirement years. If you’re not sure exactly how to get to your goals, financial planners can help determine how much you need to sock away and give you the best advice on how to do it — these are just a few ideas to get you started.