As we get older, our financial needs and priorities begin to change – and there are even a few new financial benefits of aging that we can all take advantage of.
If you’re a senior citizen, or preparing for retirement, or caring for an older adult, check out this list of key financial considerations for seniors.
1. Budget for Your Future
No matter your age, budgeting for the future is always a financial must. If you’re over 60, you’ll want to consider how your upcoming expenses will change after retirement and in the next few decades. It might be that you no longer need to reserve funds for work expenses, and can instead put that money toward post-retirement hobbies and travel.
Without a doubt, healthcare costs should be on your radar when budgeting for the future. Many senior citizens qualify for Medicare, which can reduce some medical costs, but there are still other healthcare costs to consider including outpatient care, diabetes supplies, prescription drugs and so on.
If you have any questions about budgeting for the future, contact a financial advisor who can help you to understand what costs might be coming in the future and see if there’s a retirement withdrawal strategy that fits your situation. You can contact GreenPath Financial Wellness for free help on creating a customized budget.
2. Take Advantage of Discounts and Resources
The more candles on your birthday cake, the more discounts and benefits you may be eligible to enjoy! Seniors that are 65 and older have an additional standard deduction that can be applied based off their tax filing status, and there may other tax changes given the change in your income and income source. Visit the irs.gov or consult a tax professional for specifics.
Many businesses also offer a number of rewards to older customers, such as discounts on dining, airline tickets, movie theatres and lots more. And if you love the outdoors, don’t forget to apply for your Lifetime Senior Pass for inexpensive access to U.S. National Parks!
There are many credible organizations dedicated to helping people manage the multiple aspects of senior living, which can provide you with more information on the discounts and resources available to you and your loved one. Check out the National Council on Aging or look for a local organization like the Massachusetts Council on Aging.
3. Beware of Scams
Unfortunately, many financial scams specifically target senior citizens. The best way to protect yourself is to learn about the most common scams and stay vigilant. If you’re caring for an older adult, remind them to do the same, and aim for ongoing discussions about how to stay safe.
The most commons scams take place over the phone. A caller may pretend to be a family member, a friend of a family member, or an official employee from a credit card company or shop you’ve recently visited. They may ask for personal details or a credit card number, or ask for money to be wired to an account because of an emergency.
Keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to give financial or personal information over the phone. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, call your bank or credit card company immediately and explain what happened. They can help you cancel a card or contact the relevant authorities.
Watch our “Protecting Your Money from Scams and Fraud” webinar on September 15th.
4. Start to Make Estate Preparations
While you may be decades away from distributing your assets, it’s never too early to consider estate planning details such as your will, executor and beneficiaries. Start the conversation with your family and talk to an estate-planning attorney about the right way forward for you. GreenPath Financial Wellness has various resources and information that can help you select an estate-planning attorney.
5. Enjoy Your Retirement!
Getting your finances in order takes time and energy, but in the end, retirement is a time to enjoy yourself! Make sure to budget for the fun stuff, whether that’s a socially distanced picnic in the park with friends, a road trip to see out-of-state family, or an audiobook subscription service so you can finally catch up on all the novels you’ve been meaning to read.
Part of your financial planning process for retirement might also mean downsizing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Less space with a smaller mortgage can be a great way to prioritize hobbies and experiences over having a big house, and as a bonus – fewer chores and upkeep.
However you choose to enjoy your retirement, be sure to keep on top of your finances and turn to professional resources if you need a helping hand.