Retirement Income

How To Keep From Running Out Of Money

money_bagsA recent survey by Allianz Life Insurance Company revealed that retired people worry more about running out of money than anything else. It is not really surprising, given the shrinking value of our retirement nest eggs.

I found an article that suggested several ways to help stretch a shrinking next egg. There were three ideas that actually made some sense, and several that made very little sense. I am sure that the financial planners who come up with these ideas are experts in their field. But sometimes, I get the feeling that they are a little out of touch with reality. It reminds me of the occasional ad we see on the internet that states “If you have a five hundred thousand dollar portfolio” (emphasis mine) we will show you how to make it grow. If I had half a million dollars, I would have no retirement worries.

Here are some ideas to stretch a nest egg that make sense to me:

1. Downsize: When people mention downsizing, we usually think about the place we live. Our home is usually our largest single investment and may be the largest single expense when you consider the cost of maintenance, heating and cooling. So it makes sense to move into a smaller house. After all, it may be cheaper to buy (or rent) and it is easier to heat and cool a small box than it is a large box.

But consider some other areas that may be downsized. Your car for instance. Could you use a smaller vehicle that get better fuel economy and requires less maintenance. If you are a two car family, do you really need two cars?  

Check your auto and home owners insurance policies.  Are you paying more for insurance than you need to?  If you have been with your insurance company for awhile, the only way you might get a break on the cost is to switch insurance companies.  Just sayin!!

How about your medications? There are organizations such as The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies and the Cenla Medication Access Program that may help with medication costs.

When you think about downsizing, consider all the things you spend money on, make a list and then decide where it makes sense to cut back.

2 If it is possible, cut off your adult children. As hard as it sometimes is to say “No”, sometimes helping them out is not really helping them out when you assume responsibility for them. When you are gone, who is going to help them? Easy advice to give, but difficult to do!  I’m just sayin!

3. Find ways to supplement your income. If the nest egg is small to start with, this is the option that most of us will pursue after we reach retirement age. It is the one reason you see so many seniors working in fast food restaurants and stores. There are many part-time and full-time opportunities for seniors.  

There may be other suitable retirement jobs and work at home opportunities that should be explored when retirement work is necessary or desired. I did an article on the best ways for retirees to earn money.  Check out my earlier post on retirement jobs for some tips on supplementing your income.

Other possible options for extending the retirement nest egg include not collecting social security until you turn 70. Or if you have adequate equity in your home, consider a reverse mortgage to help supplement your retirement income.  Check out the list on the right and get a free copy of “How To Generate Quick Cash In An Emergency” for some tips that you might use.

If you do happen to have a portfolio worth half a million dollars, by all means, find a trusted financial planner to help you find ways to make it last longer. After all, running out of money before you run out of time could make life a little harder.

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Work At Home Jobs

The best way for retirees to earn money

retirementaheadSome time ago, I wrote that the three things retired seniors worry about most are health, wealth and relationships.  Actually, I think I got the order wrong.   After trying to fit into the retirement mold for some time, I have come to realize that retirement income, (money), should be at the head of the list. 

The reason for this is that I’ve been reading a lot lately about seniors having to decide between medication to stay healthy and food, one of the basics of life.  Not much of a choice, but one that some people face every day and the reason many people continue to work after retirement.  But, the difficulty comes in finding a job that you can do from your home but there are many ways to earn extra money. 

Unfortunately, a lot of the easier jobs to find pay very little since experience or skills are not a prerequisite.   This is one of the reasons that many retired people turn to work at home jobs as a way to supplement their retirement income.  This could be the best of all jobs for seniors that you can imagine by providing some additional financial security and flexibility to a schedule.  Here are some tips to help you find yours.

Work At Home Jobs

seniorwomanworking01Evaluate your skills. Take time to clarify you have done in your career and what you want to do or are willing to do in the future.   Make a list of things you have learned that could be useful in future endeavors.   I have a friend who retired after years in a management positions where he had the opportunity to help develop other company management teams.  It would have been easy for him to continue this as a part time job from home with a little bit of networking, marketing and perseverance.

Make a list of all the things you have done that added value to your career.  Put everything on the initial list, no matter how insignificant you think it is.  I believe everything you do has value.  You just have to figure out how.  Then narrow the list to specific skills that you can market.  Identify what you have learned while working at a particular job that can be useful as your part time job.

Advertise yourself.   Do an internet search for networking organizations in your chosen field or go to Wikipedia  and find a list.  You have to network and advertise yourself because hey, nobody is going to find you if you don’t.

Stay active. Consider doing some volunteer work, or give your time and skills away for free as a way to learn how to do part time employment after you retire.  The idea is to get freelance work that you can add to your resume and network profiles.  Pro bono work is a common practice in the entertainment industry and can be effective in other fields as well.  Several years ago, I did some free consulting for a local college video media class and the local Salvation Army.  Both were very useful on the resume, networking site and made good talking points when interviewing.

Believe in yourself and keep learning.  This is probably the most important tip.  The more you know the more valuable your skills and service can become to potential employers when you get to the point in your life where you are considering part time employment as a retiree.  Believe me, been there, done that and I know it works.


Retirement Jobs – Why People Retire And Then Keep Working

I work in the construction industry.  I’m almost 70 and I’ve come out of retirement a couple of times to take on new projects.  Until recently, I could usually count on being the oldest guy on the site, but recently, I have been met several individuals, older than me who have come out of retirement and rejoined the work force.  The question is “Why do we keep working after we retire?”  The answer is a variation of either “too broke” or “too bored”.

Recent surveys show that nowadays many individuals plan to continue working in some capacity after they retire and that over half of Americans plan to work past the current normal retirement age of 67.  The same surveys show that the number of Americans who plan to work full time past that age has reached almost 30%.  Welcome to the new age of retirement.

The number of people who work in retirement may not be significantly different than it was ten or fifteen years ago, but we hear a lot more about it and as we get older, we pay more attention to it.  The economy and fewer retirement income sources may have a lot to do with retirees continuing to work, but there are other reasons that many retirees keep on working at least part-time in a retirement job.

Here Are Six Reasons I think Retirees Might Take a Job or Start a Business When They Don’t Have To:

  • A retirement job or business provides a purpose for what could become a mundane existence.  Most of us have a lifetime of work behind us and for many people their career defines who they are.  It is hard to learn how not to work.
  • Jobs provide us with social interaction that helps keep the mind and body stimulated and active.  Both essential ingredients to living a healthy life.
  • Jobs in retirement can contribute to a more active retirement that allows retirees to put their creative abilities to good use and feel productive  while acting as teachers or mentors.
  • Starting a retirement business can provide opportunities to form friendships with  like-minded people in the same field.
  • A passion for an activity, hobby or profession might be reason enough to start a business in retirement.
  • These reasons can be high sounding, but the fact is some retirement jobs can be just plain fun. And even retired folks just want to have fun.

The new age retirement plan, a mix of work and leisure, is more appealing to us aging baby boomers than our parents concept of retirement in which they looked forward to endless leisure and relaxation as a reward for years of hard work.

In my opinion, most baby boomers work after retirement because they want to have a happy retirement, feel useful and live a long life.  So, the ultimate retirement plan for a lot of us is – don’t retire!