Is your retirement planning taking shape? Aside from us constantly suggesting for you to check on Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans comparison charts (because, really, Medigap policies are surely solutions that you should consider by now!), we’d also like to share some more essential retirement planning lifehacks that’ll definitely help you in securing a brighter future.
1) List Down Your Available Retirement Savings Solutions
Previously, in our 5 Approaches on Creating Better Retirement Plans article, we’ve pointed out the need for baby boomers to identify and create a package of several ways to secure funds for the golden years. From knowing more about IRAs, pensions, contribution plans, etc.; and combining the most appropriate solutions, you’ll be able to create a customized plan that will best address your unique needs or circumstances.
2) More About Medicare
We can’t stress it enough – please make sure that you enroll for Medicare coverage when you are first eligible for it! You are entitled to Medicare coverage when you turn 65 – enrolling for subsequent coverage (Medicare Part B, Part D, or for Supplements) is optional but highly recommended. Additionally, applying for the other Medicare parts will save you from penalties and stricter qualification procedures.
3) Tackle Your Debts
According to a study conducted by Aon Hewitt (and featured in a Bankrate article), 51% of the survey’s worker respondents with outstanding student loans contribute just a mere 5% of their total income to their retirement savings. Additionally, compounding other forms of debt, one may not be able to save much at all for the golden years! As such, please pay down your debts as soon as possible – it’s a burden that’ll definitely weigh you down during the years when you’re supposed to reap the benefits of a lifetime of hard work!
4) The Small Increases and Adjustments to Your Saving Routine Will Matter
Of course, there is no set way to save money – what may work for one may not apply for another. Yet committing to various adjustments, no matter how small they are, on how you can set aside money will matter. Consider this example: instead of driving, why not take the public commute? Or cook instead of buying a meal? Every dollar saved means a lot when saving for your future.
5) Keep Track of Your Finances to Know Where You’re At
Monitoring expenses is another way to gauge how effective your savings and planning for retirement is. Typically, creating a set budget and listing down expenses will give you a good view on how much money can be saved during a given time frame (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.). Additionally, making use of expense management apps can help streamline the often tedious process. For more details, please check out Financial Express’ article in finding out how to integrate and maximize the use of such apps.
6) Consult with Professionals
To give you an even better perspective on how you should approach your retirement planning, please consider to consult with a financial advisor. According to last year’s Insured Retirement Institute’s report, Baby Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2016, approximately nine in 10 baby boomers who work with financial advisors when tackling their retirement planning are more likely to have set aside funds for the long run. Additionally, branch out your retirement solutions knowledge by seeking advice from other experts – from caregivers, nursing homes, and even references from fellow retirees, every help to learn more will be much appreciated!
7) Focus on Your Health
As much as you need to concentrate on saving money, make sure to consider prioritizing your health during the retirement years as well. Your health is your wealth – the many medical bills you’ll face if you encounter sickness during the golden years can quickly deplete your savings. As we’ve mentioned, Medigap policies can help in paying for some out-of-pocket fees. But having a health-conscious mindset will help prevent you from pesky diseases, in the first place.
8) Find Your Center
Did you know that finding or identifying a sense of purpose in your life can prove to be rewarding, both for your physical and mental health during retirement? As revealed in a study by Patrick L. Hill and Nicholas A. Turiano (Purpose in Life as a Predictor of Mortality Across Adulthood, published in SAGE Journals), individuals who have determined a direction in life tend to outlive their peers. But more than the longevity benefit, a sense of purpose may also allow boomers to see the beauty in the details: perfect to experience during the golden years!
9) Transform the “Boring” into Something Extraordinary
Perhaps connected to having a sense of purpose or having a health-first mindset, but individuals who tend to shift their perspective towards something exciting can bring out the best in retirement planning (and in living retirement itself!). An excellent example for shit is exercise – instead of dreading a workout session, spice it up through dance instead! Or for those who don’t fancy getting into the groove, perhaps seeing gym classes as a great place to meet new people should just do the trick! Regardless of what it is, seeing the glass half full can transform the ordinary into something extravagant and worth the effort of putting in the work for it.
10) Make it a Habit; Stick to a Schedule
Committing to the adjustments on how to save money may be hard, but repetition is the key towards success. Expounding more on the public commute example a few points above, you will eventually encounter “bad days” (rude passengers, the train broke down, a taxi inconveniently splashed that puddle of water right in front of you, etc.) during your trips. But having that positive shift of perspective, coupled with that financial goal in mind, should make you soldier on – please do hang on; take it a day at a time! It’s all worth it, for these sacrifices all have a purpose towards you having brighter tomorrows!
11) The Schedule Will Let Happiness Reign Supreme
Let’s discuss more about happiness, or shifting one’s perspective towards something positive. The mentioned points above (sticking to a schedule, identifying retirement solutions, transforming the boring, etc.), when structured together, can lead to a defined schedule for boomers to follow and keep to. And sticking to that particular schedule can lead to happiness. As mentioned in a Quartz article, structured activities lead to a happier life. Now, consider your retirement planning – customizing it in such a way that it’ll provide structure can also serve as a great motivational tool, both during the planning phase and actual retirement itself!
12) Consider Your Partner
For married boomers or those in a relationship, please always consider your partners in your plans. The struggle of talking about how to save money is real, but getting through this hurdle can definitely result in better years for both partners. Consider this thought: isn’t it better to enjoy the golden years with your significant other, sharing experiences and creating precious memories for you both?
13) Anticipate the Dangers of Fraud
One of the most serious lifehacks to consider when planning for one’s retirement is the possibility of fraud. The National Council on Aging listed the following as the top financial scams that boomers face:
- Medicare or Health Insurance Scams
- Prescription Medication Scams
- Funeral Services Scams
- Anti-aging Product Scams
- Telemarketing Scams
- Internet (Email Phishing) Scams
- Investment Scams
- Homeowner Scams
- Sweepstakes Scams
- Grandparent Scams
Please be vigilant and deal only with trusted individuals during the retirement planning stage. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t!
14) Stay Social
When it comes to lifehacks that combines fun and serious implications, connecting with friends and loved ones should also be considering during retirement planning. Social isolation, a phenomenon seen to increase among boomers, needs to be addressed primarily because of its links to anxiety and depression. Additionally, individuals who feel are isolated from society are more likely to indulge in vices. Aside from keeping in touch with loved ones and actively participating in a community, try other activities such as art therapy as a way to counter social isolation.
15) A Time to Travel; An Opportunity to be Your Ideal Self
In retirement planning, make sure also to include fun goals to look forward to during the retirement years. After all, the golden years should be a period for you to enjoy life. From travels to self-improvement (physically and mentally) activities, having these goals in mind can also serve as a way to push you to accomplish your plans.
16) Never Stop Learning
This is one among many lifehacks that most take for granted: seeing that the golden years is a time of opportunity, make sure to maximize the time available for you to learn new skills and concepts. Some suggestions that may delight you are coding (highly similar to learning a new language), cooking, driving, arts and crafts, gardening, etc. Even better, what’s stopping you from enrolling for a new degree? The point is, retirement is also a great time to put your mind’s focus to learning – and excelling – something new!
17) Stay Current
Connected to learning something new, make sure to keep tabs with what’s happening in the world as well. Aside from the trends and other latest news you can pick up from friends and families, make an effort to harness the power of technology in finding out what’s new and hip. More than it as being a conversational tool (especially when talking with those from the younger generations), staying current with the times may also prove to be beneficial when it comes to your health and wealth management.
18) Consider Long Term Care Insurance Too!
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is expected that 70% of individuals age 65 years and above in the country will need some form of long term care in their lives. As such, the need to pay for custodial services and the like during the twilight years should be considered as well during retirement planning. Similar to Medicare Supplements, please discuss with an insurance agent of available long term care insurance policies available to cater to your needs.
19) Find Glory in Work
The17th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey revealed that two-thirds of its baby boomer respondents plan to work past the retirement age of 65. If you plan to work during the retirement years, then please don’t bring this down. There is much to gain from work – it is an honorable duty to make ends meet. Regarding retirement planning, consider as well this factor so that it’ll be in-synch with your goals and expectations.
20) The Best Among All Retirement Planning Lifehacks: Never Stop Planning
Lastly, retirement planning never ends. Even if you are actually experiencing retirement, planning for the next years will always be a great and excellent way to live life. And with the constant changes and improvements with various retirement solutions, it’s to your advantage to learn and stay in the loop.
We hope that these tips and hacks will help you have a more efficient retirement plan. Do you have other tips to share? Please let us know below.