6 FINANCIAL TIPS FOR SENIORS
The reward for years of prudent saving and wise investing is knowing you have the financial security to make the most of your golden years. To help protect your nest egg and ensure it lasts a lifetime, consider the following financial tips for seniors.
- Work with a Financial Advisor
Besides offering advice on where to invest your money, a professional financial advisor can help you determine how much you can take out of your retirement nest egg each year to support you throughout your retirement. If you plan to travel the world (once we’re able to do so safely), you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty left over to last you for years to come. To find a financial advisor that fits your needs, ask friends or family members for referrals. You can also search the Financial Planning Association database for Certified Financial Planners in your area.
- Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
One perk of getting older is the wide range of discounts available to seniors. AARP members, for example, can get everything from free donuts to discounts on groceries, gym memberships, movies, museums and travel. Pharmacies, restaurants, mobile phone carriers, and retailers often offer discounts to senior shoppers. For more ways to save, check out the extensive list of senior discounts at theseniorlist.com. Every little bit helps.
- Put Fraud Safeguards in Place
Older adults are at a greater risk for financial fraud, but there are ways to reduce that risk. Be skeptical of any unsolicited offers and wait until you receive written material from any offer or charity.
Never give your personal information, such as your SSN or credit card number, over the phone unless you initiated the call. If you’re receiving telemarketing calls, sign up for the Do Not Call list. In addition to these financial tips for seniors, you can also set up bank alerts through your account settings to keep an eye on your money and alert you to potential fraud.
- Don’t Be Overly Generous
When grown children are struggling with their own financial lives, it can be tempting to open up your bank account to them. But you don’t want to put your own finances in peril by being overly generous to your children. Of course, if it’s an urgent matter — like a lost job, medical bills or house foreclosure
— help out if you can afford to. But don’t let yourself be taken advantage of or take on more than your financial situation can bear.
- Have an Estate Plan
It’s important to put your affairs in order early in retirement, especially if you have loved ones you want to benefit from your estate if you pass away unexpectedly. At the very least, have a will; powers of attorney for financial and health care decisions; and an advance directive for end-of-life medical decisions. Taking these steps can help protect your hard-earned assets and ensure the people you authorize to make decisions on your behalf will honor your wishes.
- Use Your Home Equity
If you have a lot of equity in a home that’s larger than you need, a reverse mortgage can give you access to the cash locked up in your home. Be aware, though, that the money borrowed plus interest must eventually be paid. Another alternative is to downsize, especially if your home is larger than you need. You can use the sales profit from your family home to help finance your retirement.