4 Budgeting and Finance Tips for Seniors

Are you in the process of revamping the monthly budget as retirement nears? Many older adults overhaul their spending habits in anticipation of living on a relatively fixed income. There are many great tools and resources available for anyone who needs a bit of assistance. If you don’t want to spend money on a professional financial planner, consider using one of many social service organizations. Contact local and online non-profit organizations that offer budgeting and money planning help for seniors and retirees. Most cater to those over 50 as well as low-income earners in all age groups.

If you have assets to pass on to heirs, consider using a MEC (modified endowment contract) to avoid many of the hassles that accompany the estate planning process. Even without the guiding hand of a professional, take it upon yourself to rework monthly budgets by adjusting for income changes and eliminating as many expenses as possible. The best part of the challenge is that there are so many approaches that work in different situations. Remember to review all retirement accounts and note important dates, like the month when you’ll be required to take mandatory payouts. Here are some suggestions to get the ball rolling.

Get Free Help

Local and national organizations like AARP and others are set up to assist retired people with finances and offer stress management tactics for lifestyle challenges at this stage. Call your local social service department and ask what kind of no-cost or low-cost help you can get from financial planners, personal tax assistants, and volunteer accountants.

Do Basic Estate Planning with a MEC

If you have any assets you plan to leave to heirs, consider using a modified endowment contract to convey them easily and without any red tape. If modified endowment contracts are new to you, read a helpful online explanation on all the particulars. That way, you’ll be prepared to decide if it makes sense to convert designated assets into a MEC. Too many seniors neglect to deal with issues like estate planning and leave their children and other heirs with complex tax situations. The good news is that it takes just a small amount of planning to avoid all sorts of financial messes. That’s just one reason MECs make so much sense for huge numbers of retired adults.

Redo Your Monthly Budget

Want to revamp your financial situation for the better? Take a few hours to sit down and focus on the monthly budget. Be alert for situations that have changed and places where you can cut expenses. Likewise, consider selling stuff you no longer need to add some cash to savings. Another tactic is to take on a low-stress part-time job to bring in a few extra dollars and retain a bit of structure in your daily schedule. Ten hours per week is all it takes to boost income and keep your mind alert and fresh.

Review Retirement Accounts

Make sure you know the rules about minimum withdrawals from retirement accounts. Consider speaking with a financial pro to get everything organized and up to date. Consider ditching low-interest investments that might be languishing in stock portfolios. Make it a point to review your retirement finances at least once per year.