Tag Archive | "downsizing in a slow economy"

Plan to Live On Less Income When You Retire

One option for a financially secure retirement — or rather one element of your overall retirement plan — is to plan to live on less income when you retire.

Plan to live on less income when you retire.

Plan to live on less income when you retire

Here are several tips to help you live more frugally when you retire:

  1. Figure a baseline budget
  2. Track current spending
  3. Pay down consumer debt
  4. Ease off on prepayments
  5. Re-think your car situation
  6. Inventory your stuff
  7. Research frugality sites
  8. Seek utility discounts
  9. Learn what services are available
  10. Look for a part-time job
  11. Think about taking in boarders

If all this seems a little drastic, it may be. But remember, you don’t have to do all of it, although you certainly should have a household budget — and stick to it!

Attitude is as important as any frugal hack. This is not about deprivation, but rather about smart use of available funds. If your income is reduced your outgo had better shrink too.

Accepting the reality of your situation and taking the appropriate steps — no matter how drastic they may seem — is just good, common sense, so if you need to, plan to live on less income when you retire.

Click here to read more about planning to live on less income when you retire.

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Expenses You Can Live Without

Life is like a balance sheet — you have money coming in and money going out. When the going out side is greater than the coming in side — well, you’re in trouble. Cutting back on expenses can be painful — after all, it’s easy to get used to all those little luxuries that make life bearable — but to get ahead and plan for retirement, you may have to. Here are some expenses you can live without.

Expenses you can live without

Cable Television

Now, now. Stop screaming. Do you really need 200+ channels? We all know how little really good programming is out there.

With most users facing $100-plus monthly cable bills, eliminating this luxury is a quick way to shore up a substantial amount of money without sacrificing staying up to date with your favorite shows.

There are a variety of cheaper Internet alternatives like Amazon Prime and Netflix that stream TV shows and movies for a year-long subscription that typically cost less than a month’s cable bill.

If you can’t live without local programming, an HD antenna is another option. Remember when we went through the digital switch? Your local stations still broadcast “over the air,” you just need to get an antenna.

Text Messaging

If you’re under thirty, this may be a hard habit to give up — it really is convenient — so if you must text…

…opt for a text messaging plan to save money and consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch says there are free texting apps for both the iPhone and Android phones that allows you to keep in touch for free.

Smart Phone Data

Data can also beef up a cell phone bill. Gone are the days of unlimited data, which means consumers are paying more to have surf the web on their phones. To lower the cost, consumer savings experts recommend turning off your data connections when not in use and to take advantage of free Wi-Fi whenever possible.

Cell Phone

I know. Getting rid of your cell phone may be even more painful than getting rid of your cable or satellite TV. But do you really need it? And if you do, do you really need all the extra features on your plan? If you spend most of your time at home and at work, it may be that all you really need is a land line in your home.

Gym Membership

Seriously. When was the last time you went? Some people love it, but for the rest of us, “…there are other options that will work you out for a lot less, or even free.”

Consumers can purchase exercise DVDs or stream them online for the fraction of the cost of a gym membership. If you crave companionship, there are a lot of local parks and recreation centers that offer free classes, and more and more churches are building gyms that are open to the local community.

Bottled Water

Buying a bottle of water when on the go doesn’t seem that budget busting and is convenient, but that everyday expense can quickly add up.  “That’s $1.50 every day,” says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch. “That’s a $75 savings in just 10 weeks.” Make the initial investment in a reusable water bottle and then fill it up at the water cooler at work.

If you travel, you don’t have to pick up a water bottle in the airport. Just take your empty reusable water bottle and fill it after you clear security.

Coffee, Tea and Other Beverages

It’s great to stop at Starbuck’s — or your favorite Java shop — on the way to work. Your barista knows you, gives you a warm, friendly smile and charges you six bucks for a grande cup of sweet, caffeinated goodness. Or the soda you have every afternoon. No problem, it’s just a dollar. Except you could make coffee at home that’s almost as good for just pennies and buy your soda at the market for a fraction of what you put into the machine.

I don’t want to come off as a scrooge, but there’s a lot we can do to save a few dollars here and there — and those dollars do add up. Invest that money wisely for your retirement and you may find there are many expenses you can live without.

Click here to read more about expenses you can live without.

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Postponing Retirement Has Become a Reality for Many

Over the last few years, many Americans, especially low- and middle-income workers, have watched their retirement dreams vanish like dew in the hot morning sun. Home values have plummeted and many retirement funds have lost fifty percent of their value — or more, meaning postponing retirement has become a reality for many.

While we do seem to be coming out of the “Great Recession” — corporate profits are up, housing prices seem to have bottomed out in most areas, and the economy is slowly adding new jobs — it will be quite a while before we’re back to where we were. And that’s bad news, especially for those in the 55 to 64 age bracket, many of whom will now have to work to 70 and beyond to meet their needs.

Retirement Roadblocks Mount for Many

Denise McColister, of Dallas, had hoped to retire at 62.

“At 45, I felt really secure,” the Dallas resident, now 55, recalled. Back then, her husband made good money, and their house was paid for.

Then he became disabled and their house, which they had borrowed against, plummeted in value. Now, instead of padding her financial cushion, she’s working a part-time call center job while hoping for a better position. There’s no retirement in sight.

“I’ll probably be working until I’m called home,” she said.

Working until 70 to maximize your Social Security benefits, which max out at that age, is one option. Downsizing now, to reduce expenses and maximize contributions to your retirement plan is another.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. We’ll be recovering from this devastating financial meltdown for a long time to come and postponing retirement has become a reality for many.

Click here to read Retirement Roadblocks Mount for Many posted by Evan Bedard on October 1, 2012 in Latest Financial News

Posted in Planning for Your Retirement, The EconomyComments (0)

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