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Seniors Need to Get Savvy about Financial Planning

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elderly-financial-planningIn this world of escalating expense, can seniors afford to live comfortably? Senior life frees a person from the hustle that comes with maintaining a job, but it can also create financial chaos.

There are many changes that come with getting older from the growing list of everyday aches and pains to accepting that someone else may eventually have to handle your finances. While you may not be able to predict every health problem that will come your way, though a well-balanced diet and regular exercise can help keep you happy and healthy into your golden years, your finances are a little easier to plan for in advance. And planning ahead will help ensure that you’re living well—even on a fixed income.

We have some tips that can help get you there.

Work with People You Trust

If you yourself are not a licensed financial planner, you’re probably going to need expert help planning your retirement. But that doesn’t mean you should pick just any financial advisor. Do your research. There are many scams out there offering to take money out of your savings and double or even triple it. Choose wisely and know what you are getting into when creating an investment plan.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers tools that help you look up the professional designation of an investment advisor and provides tips on choosing the right individual.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) suggests you designate a trusted family member or friend to handle your finances in case you become unable to manage them.

Write down all of your banking and investing information including account numbers and passwords. Keep the details in a safe place such as a lockbox and provide instructions on how to access them in case of an emergency.

Develop a Budget Plan

Senior life usually means living on a fixed income, and that actually makes budgeting easier.

Sit down and develop a spending plan that keeps you within budget. Make a list of your expenses– weekly, monthly and annually– and then look for sustainable ways to cut costs. You don’t want to cut back so much that it’s difficult to enjoy your new life after retirement.

Reduce the temptations that create debt, too. You might keep one or two credit cards handy for emergencies, but put them away. If you don’t carry them around, you will not be tempted to use them every time you shop. Add your name to the Do Not Call Registry to avoid getting new offers, as well.

And don’t forget to start saving early! Assisted Living Today recommends everyone over the age of 50 save at least 20 percent of their income to cover unexpected expenses.

Downsize Your Space

It costs money to maintain a house. Now is the time to consider how you can reduce the hassle and expense of homeownership. Finding affordable senior living is easier than you think, and joining a community actually brings a number of benefits.

The Assisted Living Federation of America explains seniors should focus on three concepts when researching communities.

  • Quality of life
  • Standards of Care
  • Cost and value

It is critical that you examine the property and services as a whole. Say, for example, you were looking for a good community in Greater Cincinnati. You might want to look at St. Paul Village or Shawnee Place.

At St. Paul Village in Madisonville, each person or couple has their own apartment that includes a carpeted living room and full kitchen. The community offers services such as on-site security, exercise rooms, shuttles to local businesses and even a hair salon. With a focus on wellness care for its residents, the community offers services like evaluations to determine exercise needs and nutrition standards and visiting nurses available to help manage medical problems and even an on-site social worker.

Shawnee Place in Springfield, OH is designed for comfort at an affordable price! A converted hotel that now offers independent living apartments to seniors over the age of 55 that meet the income requirements, rents range from 425 to 510 dollars a month. Each apartment includes a full kitchen and a bathroom with a walk-in shower. There is a laundry on-site, as well.

The community offers a monthly bus trip, spiritual care and a wellness clinic to residents.

Senior life requires you to make some financial changes. It is about planning ahead to find a balance that allows you to live well on a budget while still enjoying your life in retirement.

Not Sure How to Pay for Retirement? Download Our Financial Answers eBook

Bryan Reynolds
October 31, 2014
Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

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