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5 Tips to Save Money in Retirement

Unprecedented hard times are difficult to anticipate and can take a real hit on your savings. This is why you should start considering saving for retirement early. The sooner you start, the easier time you will have adjusting to unexpected financial hardships. In this article, we can provide some tips and tricks on how to save money for retirement and how to cut costs.

#1 – Cut Back on Unnecessary Spending

Try to find ways you can cut back on costs. Effective ways of doing this are looking into your insurance policies and seeing what sort of discounts they offer. There are several hidden discounts you may be eligible for. If your company doesn’t offer you many, then take a look at their competitors and compare car insurance quotes and other types of insurance that those companies offer and see which ones better suit your needs. 

You can also save money by eating out less and spending more money on homemade lunches. Take a look at the things you spend money on and see where you can save on some expenses. The more you save, the more you can put in for retirement. Any amount of money is helpful.

#2 – Automate Your Savings

There are many savings accounts out there that allow you to make automatic payments to them. Chances are these savings will also give you benefits for doing automatic payments such as matching contributions you make or sometimes having interest that grows over time. 

Another added benefit is if you set one up early, it will slowly start to grow over time without you having to think about it. Just be sure to up the amount you contribute to your savings as your financial situation grows. 

#3 – Budget and Open an IRA

Use a retirement calculator to figure out how much you need and learn how to set a retirement budget. Setting up a budget and goals is a great way to have a solid idea of what you are working toward and allows you to set benchmarks along the way. Overall, you will be far more satisfied than having a nebulous goal and a vague idea of what you can achieve. 

With all of that in mind, setting up an individual retirement account (IRA) is a great way to start building your savings. You have a few options on what sort of account to go for. There is the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA. Determining which one works for you depends on a few factors.

The traditional IRA is based on your income and is beneficial if you or a partner or spouse have a workplace retirement plan. This plan is sometimes tax-deductible, and it can grow tax-deferred over time until you start making withdrawals from it. 

If you meet certain income limits, though, a Roth IRA may be more beneficial. You fund these with after-tax contributions and once you reach a certain age, they are free from federal taxes and sometimes state taxes as well.

#4 – Use a 401(k) and Match Your Employer

With a 401(k) you can contribute pre-tax money to a savings plan. This can add up to be a significant contribution. Since federal tax money is not taken out of what you contribute to the 401(k), you can put in far more money to the savings without it having as significant of an impact on your monthly take-home pay. 

If your employer offers you a Roth IRA 401(k) then the money contributed to this account is your income after taxes. As such, you will need to adjust according to how much is usually taken out of your paycheck in taxes when estimating how much money to invest in this account. Another thing to note is your 401(k) usually follows you after you leave your job.

Also, many employers may offer to match the amount you put into your 401(k) with their contribution. Take full advantage of this if your employer offers it. So if your employer offers to match up to 5 percent of your income to your 401(k), then put in as much as 5 percent of your income into it. This way you receive the full benefit offered to you.

#5 – Start Early on Savings

Of course, the best advice is to start saving for retirement as early as possible. A benefit of doing this is you can start gaining compound interest on your savings accounts. The sooner you start, the more you will gain down the line. You will also be open to more opportunities to invest in bonds and other kinds of earnings that can help you in the long run. 

You will also have more opportunities to stash any extra funds you make. If you ever find yourself with extra money in your monthly payments — maybe you received a raise or you were given a tax break — consider taking half of it and putting it toward retirement. You can still use the other half to treat yourself to something nice, but having some forethought for later may spare you financial hardship down the road. 

These are essential retirement tips, and doing all of these will help you delay tapping into your Social Security right away. The later you can delay using your Social Security benefits, the more you will be able to gain out of it. Technically, you can start using your Social Security benefits by the age of 62. The longer you wait to use it, the larger your monthly payments will be, though. 

Savings Tips to Remember

Be sure to start your savings early. The earlier you start, the more benefits you reap. Look into ways to cut costs.

You don’t have to wait until you are 80 to do this either. You can start now. And as always, use whatever extra money you make or find yourself with and put it into your savings.


Brennan Lingo writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, 
CheapCarInsuranceQuotes.com. He specializes in finance and insurance.

Benefits of Seniors Owning Pets

Life as you age can tend to get more difficult. There is no doubt that loneliness can set in as people you love pass away or your family moves farther from you.

Being lonely may not immediately raise any red flags, but there are negative side effects that could possibly stem from it. Stroke, depression, and heart attacks are just some of the symptoms that can accompany being lonely for an extended period of time. 

Many people in their older age may not immediately consider the idea, but getting a pet for companionship is a great way to help combat the loneliness they may be feeling.

Of course, getting a pet can be a big commitment. There are many things that may cause you concern, such as how you will clean your home and car while owning a pet. Animals can make a mess sometimes, and many do have a tendency to shed, which can cause a much bigger need to clean.

However, the benefits of pet ownership typically far outweigh the concerns.

Physical Benefits

As a senior, there are many health concerns that arise as you age. However, a great way to help your physical health may be owning a pet. Animals can provide many physical health benefits. 

Owning a pet can help with:

  • Improved mobility – Walking or playing with a furry friend can greatly increase your mobility from repetitive movements.
  • Lowering blood pressure – Petting or cuddling with your companion is shown to reduce stress, which in turn does wonders for your blood pressure.
  • Reduced risk of heart disease – Similar to lowering blood pressure, animal interaction can also lower heart rates, which can lead to lower chances of heart disease.
  • Increased exercise – Having a pet encourages you to exercise, either by walking them routinely or getting up to give them some attention and playtime.

Mental Benefits

Having a pet stems beyond just physical health benefits. Animal companions also help greatly with mental health.

Having a furry friend can:

  • Lower stress levels – Animals bring us a sense of relaxation when they are near. Interaction with a pet can release oxytocin, which in turn helps lower stress levels.
  • Decrease feelings of loneliness – Having a pet can greatly reduce the feelings of loneliness that may come with older age. Pets provide a strong sense of companionship to their owners.
  • Increase social interaction – Pets may provide more companionship than just themselves as well. People who own pets are more likely to meet new people through conversation starters and shared social settings.
  • Increase comfort – Animals bring a strong sense of comfort to their owners when something difficult happens. Whether it be an emotional struggle or physical, having a companion can provide much comfort in hard times.What to Consider Before Choosing a Pet

All the benefits of pet ownership sound wonderful, but there are also factors to consider before going off to purchase your new companion. Pets have many needs, and before making the commitment you should consider whether you will be able to fulfill their needs.

Daily Maintenance

Pets bring so much joy, but they also have needs of their own. One is that most pets will require daily maintenance. Dogs will need to be fed and given fresh water daily, as will cats.

They will also need interaction from you on a daily basis. Dogs need frequent walks, to be taken outside, and play time. Cats will need stimulation and play time.

There is also the cleaning. Dogs will need their feces disposed of, whether right after they go or frequently if you have the yard space to let them outside. Cats will need frequent litter box cleanings.

Expenses

Pets can be costly, which is something to keep in mind before choosing to adopt. Things such as adoption fees, vet bills, pet supplies, and grooming can all add up.

Outside of the routine costs, pets can also have unexpected problems, just as we do as humans. If you decide to get a pet, you should be prepared for the possibility that they may have unexpected costs.

An easy way to mitigate the financial expense of having a pet is purchasing pet insurance. There are different policies available that provide coverage for unexpected pet expenses. Some car insurance policies even include pet coverage.

Location

Before bringing home a pet, consider the living situation. If your home does not have a fenced yard and you live in a climate where it gets cold, you may need to take your dog out in freezing temperatures to use the restroom. 

If this is something you are not prepared to do, choosing a pet that doesn’t need to be let outside would be a wiser option.

Making sure your living space is appropriate for the pet you choose is a large factor. 

How to Choose the Right Pet

If you have decided everything lines up and you are ready for a furry friend to keep you company, it is important to choose one that works well for you.

Dogs

A dog is a great choice for someone who is not limited in their mobility or looking to improve their mobility. Since dogs require more exercise than other pets, they are best suited for someone who is able to meet those needs.

There are many dog breeds to choose from, with many different personality types. Do some research on breed specifics, and you can be sure to find one that is perfect for you. 

Don’t forget! You can also search your local animal shelter for a canine companion. Shelters will typically have a wide variety of dogs for you to choose from.

Cats

Cats can be a great option for a senior who struggles with mobility or does not have outdoor space.

Since cats don’t need to be let outside, they are relatively low maintenance when it comes to mobility needs. Just be sure you are able to clean their litter box frequently and provide them with fresh food, water, and some stimulation throughout the day.

Birds or Small Rodents

Pets such as birds, hamsters, or guinea pigs can be lower maintenance options for seniors who don’t want to overwhelm themselves. These animals don’t require much space and simply need feedings, water, and cage cleanings.

They can provide just as much companionship as a cat or dog, with typically less maintenance.

Fish

Fish are extremely low maintenance pet options. They need a small feeding each day and their tank water cleaned. Outside of that, there is not much they require. 

Fish are a great option for someone who needs routine in their life but may have trouble with a more high-maintenance pet.

Enjoy Your New Companion

If you have decided a pet is the best option for you in your senior years, you will surely be happy with the love and companionship they bring. 

It’s true, pets can take a lot of work. But if you are able to care for them, the benefits they bring can far outweigh the maintenance. From helping you stay physically fit to keeping your mental health strong, having a furry friend in your home can certainly fill many needs you may have.

About the Author: Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, USInsuranceAgents.com and loves animals. She has five pets of her own who she spoils every day.

 

What Seniors Need To Know To Stay Safe During The COVID-19 Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of living for the near future. Without a vaccine, we will have to adjust to going out in public with personal protection, or PPE, and new social distancing protocols in restaurants and stores.

With the older adults and those with underlying conditions, it is integral to incorporate a healthy planned lifestyle for seniors into their everyday lives.

This can mean following all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and protocols, as well as strengthening one’s immune system by exercising, getting vitamin D and eating healthy.

Safety Precautions

With COVID-19 cases still on the rise in some states, it is more important than ever that seniors adhere to the CDC’s guidelines when they do leave the house.

Here is what the CDC recommends for everyone to do when they leave the house:

  1. Wash Your Hands- By simply washing your hands, you can save yourself from contracting COVID-19. Washing your hands with warm/hot water for 20 seconds and getting every inch of your hands, it will wash away dirt and bacteria that has gotten on them throughout the day.  You should wash your hands after you cough, sneeze, blow your nose or go out in public. This simple, yet effective process can prevent you from getting the virus. If you don’t wash your hands after doing these and you touch your face, you run the risk of getting coronavirus. If you need to clean your hands right away, but are not near a sink, carry around 60% alcohol hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands wherever and whenever you need to.
  2. Avoid Close Contact With Others- This is important for seniors to follow as they are one of the high risk groups. Seniors should avoid being around people who are not in their immediate household. And if someone in their household has tested positive for coronavirus or is showing symptoms, they need to stay away from that person. And try to avoid going out as much as possible until there is an effective vaccine available. When leaving the house to go to the store, stay at least 6 feet away from people in the store.
  3. Wear a Face Mask- Do not leave the house without a face mask covering your nose and mouth. This will protect you from any droplets that may contain the virus and get into your mouth or nose.
  4. Wear Gloves- The virus can live on surfaces. When going out into public, wear gloves when touching doors, items, keypads, etc. Make sure you don’t touch your face with the gloves on. Immediately wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer, after taking them for extra precaution.
  5. Clean and Disinfect- Our everyday items can get filled with germs and bacteria. Clean and disinfect your phone, tablet, counters, door handles, toilets and anything else that is used daily.

Boost Your Immune System

Along with following the CDC’s guidelines, seniors should look into how they can boost their immune system so they stay strong and healthy during this pandemic.

Healthline.com gives nine great examples of how one can improve their immune system.

  1. Get enough sleep
  2. Incorporate more whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables and nuts, into your daily diet.
  3. Eat healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon.
  4. Take probiotic supplements.
  5. Limit your sugar intake as much as possible.
  6. Exercise moderately.
  7. Keep hydrated.
  8. Manage stress levels through meditation and other forms of relaxation.
  9. Use supplements wisely.

Conclusion

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is scary and uncertain, there are ways seniors can keep themselves safe. By practicing all of the CDC’s guidelines and doing various aspects to improve your immune system, your body should feel better and may be able to fight off the virus IF you do contract it.

 

About the Author

 Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.