Enjoying Life Without Breaking Your Budget
A Baby Boomer’s Guide By Guest Blogger Jim McKinley, moneywithjim.org
Baby boomers tend to be a bit more concerned about saving their money than the rest of us. With retirement around the corner, this is understandable. Though this lifestyle of prioritizing saving over spending has granted baby boomers a secure retirement, it may also have deprived a few people of some fun. Fortunately, it’s never too late to bring enjoyment into your life. Here are some practical tips to help you live a full life while sticking to your money-saving principles.
Be Prepared for Retirement
As you know, being financially prepared for the future is one of your most important responsibilities as an adult nearing retirement. On top of covering your living expenses without a working income, you should also be ready for the worst — like a sudden decline in your health that forces you into long-term care. By planning how to cover these future costs, you can avoid any guilt you may be feeling about spending on yourself right now.
Long-term care insurance can be a great way to cover the costs of home assistance, nursing home care, and assisted living. But there are pros and cons to these types of policies. While these types of policies are hugely beneficial for some, determining just how much to purchase can be challenging. It’s important to do your research when considering this option. Another popular way to fund long-term care is using a life insurance policy with a long-term care option. With this, you can use the money for your care if you need it. And if you don’t, it goes to your beneficiary. While you’re at it, now is the perfect time to look at a burial insurance policy. This will cover the costs of your final arrangements so your family will not have to foot the bills.
Make a Retirement Budget
Overspending in retirement can be dangerous. The Balance recommends creating a retirement budget so you know exactly what you have left over to spend on personal pleasure without worrying about covering your living expenses. Once you’re done, you may find that you have more money for hobbies or travel than you thought. You can even use your budget to trade certain luxuries for others. For example, you may decide to cancel your cable subscription and put the money toward travel.
Downsize Your Home
If you’ve got a large home with space you don’t really need anymore, maybe it’s time for something a little smaller. A smaller home equals less in upkeep, taxes and utilities. If you still have a mortgage to pay off but a fair amount of equity in your home, you can tap some of that equity to put toward a second home. Using creative ways to buy a new, smaller home can pay off in the long run. For example, if you’re a veteran, a VA IRRRL loan will give you access to lower interest rates. That’s just one way to approach the process. Whatever you do, look to make your home and the equity you’ve built work for your future.
Spend Your Money Responsibly
When you have confidence in the secure future of you and your family, you can finally spend some of your hard-earned money on the more enjoyable things in life.
Adopt a Pet from a Shelter
Pets are the best companions, encouraging us to exercise, improving our mood, staving off loneliness, and giving us a sense of purpose. Adopting from a shelter is significantly less expensive than buying a purebred puppy from a breeder. Many shelters will even spay and neuter, vaccinate, and microchip their animals before adoption, saving you additional money. Plus, most of these pets are already housetrained! There are 6 to 8 million pets crowding animal shelters in the U.S, waiting to be adopted. Give one of them a loving home!
People are doing more and more of their shopping online these days. Baby boomers are jumping on this trend to save money and discover new ways to spend their time. For example, you can use the internet to find discounts on local events or fun activities in your area. According to U.S. News, Groupon is an excellent site for this when you know how to find real deals. When it comes to groceries and household items, it’s much easier to find the best prices by comparison shopping online. Just be careful! It’s easy for online shopping to become an expensive hobby.
Pick Up a Couple of Frugal Hobbies
Studies show that hobbies have several benefits, from reducing stress to improving your cognitive skills. Try out a few low-cost hobbies to add a sense of fulfillment to your life. Gardening, dancing, playing an instrument, and learning a new language are some good options. Find something that you can get excited about, and give it a go!
Saving money doesn’t have to equal boredom. A simple internet search will turn up endless ideas of fun things that you can do on a budget. And if you’re willing to indulge a little, go for it! As long as your future is secure and you’re prepared for the worst, any additional hard-earned money is yours to spend.